Our renewable energy story
Our island has been a mighty force in the world of renewable energy since the 1900s. Back then, Tasmanians worked in harsh, often perilous conditions to carve out early hydro schemes along highland rivers and lakes.
In 1895, Duck Reach was the first publicly-owned hydro-electric power station. Then in 1916 the Waddamana A Power Station in the Central Highlands was commissioned and became the centre-piece of the Great Lake Power Scheme. In the 1930s and 40s, many migrants made their way to Tasmania to work for the Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC) which enriched the social and cultural fabric of our state.
The HEC was an Australian first, with no other State or Territory establishing a public, statewide energy generating enterprise - known simply as “the Hydro”. Within two decades, electricity had all but replaced kerosene lamps, candles and steam engines, and we’ve been leading the charge in renewable energy ever since.
These early innovations laid a foundation of expertise and authority in renewables, as we learned from our mistakes and turned controversy into opportunity. The environmental movement of the 70s encouraged us to do better, build better and to innovate, and today renewable energy is Tasmania’s proud heritage and most exciting prospect.
Tasmania has a natural competitive advantage with proven hydro and world class wind, and we continue to invest and innovate in emerging hydrogen, ocean, geothermal and biomass opportunities. This energy diversity brings resilience in the face of climate change, and a sustainable future built on renewable assets that are right on our doorstep.
As Australia’s energy industry shifts away from fossil fuels, including coal, Tasmania will be there to share our abundance of clean, reliable and affordable energy with the mainland. Helping to create a greener future is something all Tasmanians can be proud of.