Newcastle is a mining town, which means, of course, that earthquakes and related problems are always a possibility. Newcastle has, in fact, had four earthquakes between 1868 and 1989, more than any other city in Australia.
What’s remarkable about this not exactly desirable record is that each of the four earthquakes caused more serious damage than the one before it, and the reason for that is not necessarily that the earthquakes became more powerful, but that there were advances in technology and growth in population.
The latest of these happened in 1989, and caused an estimated $4 billion of damage, as well as claiming at least 13 lives and injuring at least 160 people enough that they required hospitalisation. One of the things survivors will remember vividly is the sense of shock and chaos following the event, and particularly what it was like to be stranded without necessities of modern life such as electricity, running water, and telecommunications.
With solar power, you are not at the mercy of industrial electricity. You can install a hybrid system that combines mains power with a battery-backed solar collection system, or you can have a fully independent solar solution that doesn’t require connection to the grid.
Having access to electricity could save your life when the next earthquake strikes Newcastle, and at the very least it will make it easier to cope in the immediate aftermath. It is inevitable that another earthquake will occur, but because so many households and businesses have converted to solar energy, the consequent damage is likely to be much lower even though the population has continued to grow.