Episode #9 - Recorded on Mar 30, 2022

How to dramatically reduce our emissions by electrifying everything, with Saul Griffith

“Rewiring a community means electrifying the majority of the households, the vehicles, the water heaters, the space heaters, the kitchens, and powering it with a mix of rooftop solar, community renewables, and grid-based renewables, all backed up by batteries everywhere. This is a pathway to zero emissions, better public health, household savings, and perhaps most importantly, community economic renewal”, explains Dr Saul Griffith in a webinar held in partnership with six Northern Sydney Councils – Ku-ring-gai Council, Lane Cove Council, Mosman Council, North Sydney Council, City of Ryde and Willoughby Council.

In this podcast episode, we speak with Dr Saul Griffith, co-founder and chief scientist at Rewiring Australia and Rewiring America, nonprofits dedicated to decarbonising those countries (and the world) by electrifying everything.

We talk about what it will take to transform our infrastructure, update our grid and adapt our households to an all-electric future. Saul’s new book, ‘The Big Switch’ lays out a detailed blueprint for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment.

Using the example of Austinmer, a suburb with 1000 households, Saul shows how that community could save close to five million dollars a year if everything was electrified with technology that is available today. Please have a look at the video version at the bottom of the post to see Saul’s slide show.

Saul also provides three steps that we can each take to access those savings in our own community, eliminate emissions and create jobs locally.

To view or download this episode’s transcript, please click here.

About Saul Griffith

Saul is the co-founder and chief scientist at Rewiring Australia and Rewiring America, nonprofits dedicated to decarbonising those countries (and the world) by electrifying everything.

Saul received his PhD at MIT. Prior to MIT, he studied in Sydney and at UC Berkeley. Since graduating in 2004, Saul started numerous technology companies based in the Bay Area. These include Makani Power, which was acquired by Google, Instructables, which was acquired by Autodesk and Squid Labs.

Saul had been a principal investigator and project lead on research projects for agencies, such as NASA.

And above all, Saul is a fabulous storyteller.

His new book, ‘The Big Switch’ lays out a detailed blueprint for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment.

The Big Switch

Saul’s new book, “The Big Switch” sets out a roadmap for how we can dramatically cut emissions with technologies that are available right now, while saving Australian households over $300 billion dollars by 2035, without sacrificing the lifestyle we are used to.

The average Australian home spends about $5,000 a year on energy, which includes our expenditure on vehicle fuels, natural gas and electricity. Saul demonstrates that with falling prices for renewables and the electrification of our homes and businesses, climate action has now become an economically advantageous move. According to Saul, the future will be awesome, electrified and abundant.

The book, which is a riveting read, is available in all good bookshops.

If you want to get in touch with Saul, you can email him at saul@rewiringaustralia.org.

Links to resources mentioned in the podcast

The Big Switch: Australia’s Electric Future by Saul Griffith – https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/big-switch

Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future by Saul Griffith – https://www.amazon.com/Electrify-Optimists-Playbook-Energy-Future/dp/0262046237

Parts of Antarctica have been 40°C warmer than their March average – https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2022/03/24/parts-of-antarctica-have-been-40degc-warmer-than-their-march-average

Other relevant links

Green Building Council of Australia (GCBA) – A practical guide to electrification: for new buildings – https://new.gbca.org.au/green-star/green-star-strategy/carbon-climate-change/#electrification

Meet the host

Barbara Albert is the Co-CEO of 100% Renewables. She is passionate about business and works to make organisations’ transition to net-zero emissions simpler and profitable. Barbara is the award-winning author of Energy Unlimited – Four Steps to 100% Renewable Energy, one of the world’s most important books on renewable energy, as ranked by peers and experts in the industry.

About 100% Renewables:

In 2015, we developed one of the first organisational plans to achieve 100% renewable energy. It was the first time we had an opportunity to look holistically at a whole business to see how 100% renewables could be achieved.

When we developed that plan, we saw that organisations could operate with renewable energy and reach net zero emissions while driving financial performance. Based on this revelation, we named our business ‘100% Renewables’ – a name which encapsulates our vision that in future, all organisations will be powered with renewables and have zero emissions.

Since then, we have helped over 100 organisations develop their net zero plan and have grown the business to a national team of net zero specialists. We are known for developing strategies that are pragmatic, based on sound business cases, and have organisational buy-in.

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