Australia is best placed to transform energy use

Friday, 6 June 2008

Australia is in the best position of any country to transform its energy supply from dependence on fossil fuels to alternative energy sources - but we need to take action now. That will be a key message from Professor Stephen Lincoln at the University of Adelaide's next Research Tuesday free public seminar on Tuesday 10 June.

Professor Lincoln will discuss world population growth and its increasing demands on water, food and energy and the associated effects on the environment.

He says cheap fossil fuel energy has underpinned growing global prosperity but now this energy source is depleting rapidly. Alternative energy sources must be developed to maintain this prosperity and lessen climate change.

"Out of the 27 OECD countries, Australia is one of the few net exporters of energy," says Professor Lincoln. "But we are currently at least 95% dependent on fossil fuels.

"Aside from the issue of oil prices rising, we still face the prospect - the same as everyone else around the world - of fossil fuels running out, and this is without taking into consideration the impact on our climate and environment.

"We have no choice but to transform our energy profile, but the good news is that of all the nations in the world we are best placed to undergo that transition.

"We have abundant sunshine, we have the space, the geographical location, the small population. We can supply all our energy needs with solar power, geothermal and wind power."

Professor Lincoln is a professor in the University's School of Chemistry and Physics and a member of the University's Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability.

Professor Lincoln's research covers two areas: the design of molecules for use in nanotechnology, sunscreens and biological and environmental monitoring; and the impact of human activities on the global environment.

He has published over 300 research papers in international journals and is author of two prize-winning books, the latest being Challenged Earth: An Overview of Humanity's Stewardship of Earth.

Held on the second Tuesday of every month, Research Tuesday gives leading experts from the University of Adelaide an opportunity to engage with business, community leaders and the general public on issues that impact on them.

WHAT: '21st Century: Present and Future Challenges'
WHERE: Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 5.30pm, Tuesday 10 June
COST: Free. Please book by email: or phone: (08) 8303 3692


Contact Details

Professor Stephen Lincoln
School of Chemistry and Physics
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5559
Mobile: +61 432 680 404

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084