Amy’s Balancing Act, is a fable about the power of diversity and clean energy. The story revolves around a girl’s mission to deliver mail across the island of Energia. The girl’s name is Amy, which is the first hint at who she represents in the story’s analogy to the clean energy transition.
Amy’s name is inspired by AEMO, the Australian Energy Market Operator. This is the independent organisation that manages the day-to-day (and second-to-second) operation of Australia’s electricity system.
Just like AEMO wants to make sure that every Australian gets the electricity they desire, Amy wants to make sure the residents of Energia get their packages on time. They are both very dedicated to their deliveries and work through all weather conditions because so many people rely on them.
A large part of AEMO’s job is balancing the generation of power from power stations across the country with the consumption of power from customers. Over the last fifty years, AEMO has become very comfortable with how to do this working with coal fired power stations.
The challenge for AEMO now is to learn how to work with a diverse mix of clean technologies, including solar and wind farms, and hydro-power stations, as coal power stations retire. Similarly, Amy faces the challenge of delivering the mail with a new diverse team of animal helpers as Clyde retires.
In Amy’s Balancing Act I try and capture how the transition of our energy system and of Amy’s delivery system is not only a technical challenge of learning how the new players work together. It is also an emotionally challenging journey of releasing the reigns of a familiar way of doing things to embrace working with a new diverse team. This is really the heart of the transitions.
That explains who Amy represents in Amy’s Balancing Act. To learn more about the energy technologies that each of her animal helpers represents, see here.