It’s coming up to the end of the year, and members of the AllGrid Energy team are packing down their desks and heading home for the holidays. When we’re not too caught up in the festivities of this silly season, it is great to look back on the successes of the year and be proud of the efforts we have made. It has been a huge year of setbacks and victories for everyone pushing for a more sustainable future, and here at AllGrid we have been thrilled to be part of such a positive process of change. So without getting to sentimental, we’re going to take you back through of the great successes of the year, the projects we’ve been working on, the topics we’ve delved into, and the people we have worked with.
2016 began with the Australian Solar Industry celebrating the installation of over 1.5 million PV solar power systems, marking us as the country with the highest proportion of solar panel installations per inhabitant in the world. Meanwhile, AllGrid Energy released and started shipping out the first generation of our WattGrid system, an affordable and efficient 10 kw solar battery system. AllGrid also partnered up with RedBack Technologies this year, who developed a very advanced four quadrant inverter that intelligently manages WattGrid’s stored energy, how it’s used, and it’s connection to the power grid.
In March, AllGrid was very proud to have our Marketing and Alliance Manager, Deborah Oberon, announced as the inaugural winner of the Clean Energy Council’s Developing Women Directors Scholarship. Oberon has recently left her position at AllGrid Energy to begin her own communications company, Regennovate, which is geared specifically towards ethical and sustainability businesses. We wish her every success with her new enterprise.
We’ve done a lot of our best work this year out in remote communities. In the Barkly Tablelands, we replaced diesel systems with solar panels and our WattGrid system enabling community members to return to their homes after being forced to leave by the expense of using the diesel. Nearly 40 people have been able to return to their homes. It was a great trial run for the Oasis Strategy, which integrates renewable energy, communications, water purification, and other technologies in a delivery system that will help indigenous communities to become self-sufficient.
We took the momentum developed in the success at Barkly, and began working with a number of other remote communities. We were kicking more goals for energy independence in Doomadgee shire, implementing the Oasis Strategy, where we met the incredible Elijah Douglas – National NAIDOC Youth of the Year Award, and a social worker with Save the Children . AllGrid has seen first hand the troubles that rural communities face, and we have always held the philosophy that social impact of our projects are just as important as any other business metric which why it is such a pleasure working with someone like Elijah. Elijah gave a powerful and moving speech at our Illuminating the EnvironMENTAL evening in Sydney in late October where he spoke about the importance of a healthy environment in order to have community and individual well-being.
The powerful story behind us and our ongoing projects has meant we have met a number of incredible people over the course of our work. One of the most impressive names on the list is the Canadian environmentalist and TV personality David Suzuki, but there were many more. From the joyful dancer Hans Ahwang to the stalwart young environmentalist Josh Gilbert, and the author Stan Grant, we’ve sought to bring you the stories of the people who are truly building a more hopeful future for all.
This all culminated in “Illuminating the Environmental: Healing from the Inside out”, an event we held in Sydney towards the end of the year. The event was a symposium of indigenous leaders discussing the topics of depression and anxiety in Aboriginal communities, but along the way the conversation touched on topics such as sustainability, refreshing ancient cultures, and creating a healthier society with indigenous wisdom. With minds cast towards a hopeful future, it was a night of stimulating conversation and illuminating speeches from inspired people working within the fields of mental health and sustainability. It was a great finishing touch to a year of amazing successes. The event also featured Amelia Telford who heads up SEED Mob, an Indigenous youth-led environmental group. She gave a passionate speech at the event calling for the need for change to be driven by young people.
And of course there is so much more ahead. AllGrid Energy will be back on deck early January powering into an even greater 2017. May your festive season be peaceful and relaxing!