Global answer at our fingers
In 2013, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed the 400 parts per million mark, the highest it has been for at least a million years.
The last time the concentration of Earth’s main greenhouse gas reached this mark, horses and camels lived in the high Arctic and the sea level was 10m higher than today.
Carbon dioxide gets into the atmosphere through volcanoes and humans burning wood, coal, oil and gas.
It is one of the primary causes of global warming, which is why governments around the world are spending large amounts of money to promote energy which does not release carbon dioxide into the air.
The Pilbara is blessed with some of the most intense sunshine in the world, which gives us a huge advantage in the production of solar electricity without any carbon dioxide.
The problem is storing it — batteries store charge only for a few days. One possibility is to make hydrogen, which can be simply done by using solar electricity to split water.
Hydrogen can be stored forever, is readily transported and can be used in a fuel cell to produce electricity. It can be used to power electric fuel cell vehicles, or to cleanly generate mains electricity.
Japan is planning to become a hydrogen fuelled country and various companies are looking at the opportunity to make hydrogen from solar energy in the Pilbara to export to Japan, or across Australia.
We could become the clean energy capital of the nation.