The way we get around can be an important part of day to day life, and any approach toward more sustainability and less environmental impact needs to address transport. Utilizing renewable energy sources (solar, wind and/or hydro) to power electric cars (E-Car) is certainly the right way – and although the technology is readily available commercially and constantly decreasing in cost – a traditional implementation on Great Barrier Island is just not cost effective. In the following an explanation of why it’s not feasible and suggestions.
Let’s start with the obvious part of the comparison then. King Island has without question the cooler name. However, in my opinion, Great Barrier Island (Aotea) can immediately even the score as it enjoys a warmer climate. The distance between Aotea and Auckland – by far the biggest city of New Zealand – is about 100 km and you can get there via plane or ferry. King Island’s closest major city is Melbourne and the distance between them is circa 260 km. Zoom into the Google Map insert at the top of this post and you will see that both islands are shaped quite similarly. Actually strikingly similar. Much longer than wide, stretching from south to north with beautiful and rugged beaches and bays on the east and west coasts. King Island is approximatively three times the size of Aotea, is considerably flatter and has a population density of 1.57 per square kilometre (about 1800) compared to 3 per square kilometre (930), respectively. It is going to get really interesting when you do a Google search for both island.
In January of this year I wrote an article about ‘long-term plans and incentives‘ after experiencing first hand the magnitude of already installed renewable energy systems throughout Germany within the private and public sector. Stating that the dimension and the extent of what Germany has been doing in this respect is incredible in this country is certainly no exaggeration. I was talking to a local board member about solar, wind and hydro power and whether there are any (comprehensive) plans from the Auckland Council and/or the Great Barrier Island Local Board regarding a pathway toward renewable energy sustainability for this Island (you may exchange ‘Island’ with whichever city you live in).