Northern Queensland Permaculture

Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share


15-03-2021 → this page is under construction

It appears at the onset of 2021, that worldwide energy supplies are peaking in extraction rates, specifically oil. This would suggest that into the future, continued stagnation of economic activity will occur. The 1972 book Limits to Growth outlined the consequences to the global industrial civilization should business as usual be continued into this century (collapse). The purpose of this site is not to repeat the findings of the modelling, but rather present potential adaptations to this predicament, tailored to a local context in Townsville Queensland - Australia.

Currently, Townsville is acutely dependent on energy import to sustain the services and function of the city, notably

  • Baseload electricity
  • Petroleum

The case of catastrophic decline is not considered in this article, as such it is assumed that the availability of the said resources will simply decline during some periods and settle during others. At present, Townsville is heavily dependent on the use of trucks and cars to deliver goods and services to the population. It will be important in the future to gradually reduce this dependence, this can be done through localisation.

Catastrophic failure may be decades into the future, preparation for this eventuality are prudent as they are inevitable. There are limitations to what sources of energy can realistically be sourced locally, and they are outlined below in this article. This website will focus only on the possibilities as currently perceived.


These sources of energy are considered possible to sustain in the local environment, in a post growth post industrial context.

  • Firewood
  • Tinder
  • Electricity (solar PV)
  • Wind
  • Sunlight

The use of all the sources, except firewood, need not be explained. Solar PV does rely on the industrial economy for production but it is the view of this author, that in the present context its use should not be excluded from consideration. Wind and sunlight have been used for thousands of years, to dry clothes, food or to pump water such as through the use of a wind-mill.


Firewood is perhaps the most accessible energy source in the local context. Correct use is important to prevent annoyance of neighbors and incorrect use of resouces. If resources are managed appropriately, it is entirely possible all the cooking needs of citizens in Townsville could be met through the use of firewood. Careful management of forestry resources is important to ensure over consumption does not occur.

Timber SourceComment
Leucaena Fast growing, already established in the local area, drought hardy
Pigeon Pea Fast growing, suitable for suburban plot, use for Tinder
Wood stove
Wood StoveConstruction of a simple wood stove
Use of a Wood StoveSustainable use of a wood stove

Difficult or Impossible

These sources of energy are considered too difficult to sustain in a post growth, post industrial context in Townsville.

  • Liquid fuels
  • Pressurised fuels
  • Baseload electricity

Baseload electricity is listed, as it is the view of the author that as the ability for the state to maintain and repair the large and fragile electrical distribution network will decline. This is due to the exposure of the network to cyclone and natural disasters.

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