Saul Griffith is a prolific inventor, an engineer and a successful entrepreneur.

His bold ideas on energy caught the eye of the US president and helped shape the ground-breaking climate legislation that passed there late last year.

Now he’s returned home after two decades in the US and he’s on a mission to transform energy systems here. 

He’s joined with his community near Wollongong, south of Sydney, in an ambitious project to electrify homes in his suburb and power them with renewables. 

“Here’s a guy from Wollongong literally shaping the world’s approach to tackling climate change” , says NSW Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean, who’s taking an interest in the project.

If successful, the pilot project will prove that household electrification is a potential solution to an urgent problem.

“Saul is a compulsive optimist”, says his wife Arwen. “He’s not the kind who says, “Oh technology will solve all our problems”. He’s saying we can do this if we work together.”

In Australian Story’s first show of 2023, Griffith has a message of hope about our ability to solve one of our most intractable problems.

“The one genuine source of optimism is this opportunity for community renewal”, says Saul. “We know that it’s got to be communities that do this work together.” 

Producer: Olivia Rousset.

AUSTRALIAN STORYMonday, 27 February, 8pm on ABC TV and ABC iview

Media Release – ABC