AUSTRALIA: Turn off your lights!

by , 03/31/07

Sydney at dusk earth hour turn off your lights

You can tell that people are really thinking about the environment these days. Two separate events are being held in Australia with the goal of saving some energy by doing the simplest thing that everyone can do, turning off your lights.

Earth Hour


Sponsored in part by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the TV morning show Sunrise, is asking residents and businesses and to turn off the lights that aren’t required overnight. The Lights Off Australia initiative was officially launched on the 25th of February and is asking residents to turn off one light that they would normally turn on, as well as turning off all appliances left on stand-by. “This whole campaign is about cutting down energy wastage. While we’re starting with just one day per month, we genuinely hope this event starts to change people’s habits and it becomes part of everyday life.” said Sunrise Executive Producer Adam Boland.

The second event held by the WWF Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald is asking all of Sydney to turn off their lights from 7:30p.m. on the 31st of March. The event is part of Earth Hour, a yearly series of events that aim to educate and show the country how one can, with small changes, change the world. Approximately 11,000 individuals as well as businesses and government offices have joined the effort. Out of all the events that are being held, I have to say that no one will hold a candle, literally, to the efforts of Sydneysiders Jo Elvey and Eric Hutchens, whom had scheduled to hold their wedding reception on that same day. When they were told of Earth Hour, they saw this as a great opportunity to embrace it and immediately considered how they could join this initiative. They have decided to embrace Earth Hour by lighting candles and asking the band that they had booked to play unplugged.

+Lights off Australia

+Earth Hour

+WWF Australia

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  1. Theo March 13, 2008 at 7:13 am

    I am not an enginner but do know a thing or two about the way power stations work. If everyone was to turn their lights off at the same time there would be a sudden drop in the load on the grid. Power grids are designed to cope with sudden increases in power (everyone knows the half time cuppa scenario) but are not designed to cope with a sudden drop. As the load drops, resistance in the spinning generators attached to gas turbines would also drop causing the revs per minute to increase significantly. As gas turbines spin at about 15% below their designed maximum rpm, a sudden increase would potentially cause the turbine blades to expand and catch on the outside of the rotor housing with catastrophic results. The gas turbines would go out of action for months and the reduced capacity would be met by turning on the dirty coal fired plants that stand as reserve capacity.

    Knowing this, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that these “everyone turn your lights out at the same time” schemes, if ‘sucessful’, are only likey to knock out our more efficient generators and ultimately produce more emissions in the long run as the less efficient generators, normally reserved for peak periods, are brought online to supply base load power. It can take months to fix a bust gas turbine. If all of them went at once, well, you can imagine the consequences!

  2. nick April 3, 2007 at 10:07 am

    It only took them this long to figure out you need to turn off your lights…prety quick.

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