Australia 2004 Renewable Energy
- Issue Date: 30 March 2004
- Designed by: Sean Pethick
- Printed by: SNP Sprint
- Print Process: Lithography
- Dimensions: 37.5mm x 26mm
This special issue of four stamps illustrates the diversity of renewable energy production in Australia today. Renewable energy is produced from sustainable sources such as the sun, wind, water and organic matter. Sustainable sources are those that are essentially inexhaustible or that are replenished quickly through natural processes.
Each of the renewable production methods featured on the stamps has been used in some form in Australia for some time. Yet renewable energy generation accounts for just nine per cent of our total power generation. More than 80 per cent of Australia's energy comes from coal.
Energy production using sustainable sources generally is safer and cleaner than production using fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. For example coal-fired power plants release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Perforations: 14 x 14½
- Formats: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25 separated by printed gutter)
Solar energy makes direct use of the sun’s radiant heat. It is the least polluting and most inexhaustible energy source known, and its potential is only just beginning to be utilised. In Australia today solar energy systems range from small household systems to large, grid-connected solar powered suburbs. It is most commonly used for domestic hot water.
The stamp shows a Solar Systems CS500 dish, one of ten that makes up a solar station serving a remote Aboriginal community in central Australia. The dish tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset, capturing the sun’s energy, concentrating it and converting it to electricity. The solar power station will reduce diesel consumption, which in turn can save the community money and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Wind energy is one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. Global wind power capacity has quadrupled over the past five years. Windmills have been used in Australia for nearly a century. The new way of harnessing wind energy is using ‘wind farms’ of turbines.
Wind farms already contribute power to electricity grids in Australia. Crookwell Wind Farm in New South Wales was the first grid-connected wind farm in Australia. There are about 16 wind farms operating today and at least as many again being planned. The stamp shows a wind turbine, typical of those erected in today’s wind farms.
Hydropower harnesses the energy produced by moving (often falling) water. The moving water turns the blades of a turbine and that mechanical energy is converted to electricity. Unlike solar or wind energy, which depend on daylight or minimum wind speeds respectively, hydro schemes can produce power continuously, or water can be stored in dams and released when required to produce energy on demand.
About eight per cent of Australia's electricity is already produced from hydro schemes. The Snowy Mountains Scheme is Australia’s largest and best known supplier of hydro electric power. It supplies ten per cent of New South Wales’ electricity needs as well as providing power for the evening rush hours of Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. The stamp shows water being released from a dam in the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
Biomass is organic matter that can be used to produce electricity and supply heat and fuel. Biomass comes in different forms such as bagasse (the waste plant fiber left after the juice is removed from sugarcane); green waste (the tree clippings from gardens, parks or plantations); food processing waste (such as nutshells and grain husks, fruit and vegetable peel and other waste from canneries); and vegetable oils.
Images of four common electrical appliances connected to a power board are printed in the gutter.
- Perforations: serpentine die cut 11 x 11½
- Formats: coils of 100
Coil Strip of 4
First Day Covers
The first day of issue postmark was Green Valley NSW 2190.