Australia set to run on 100% renewable energy within 15 years
Australia is set to reach its target of 100% renewable energy by the early 2030’s, provided current uptake of renewable energy options in the residential and commercial sectors remains strong.
The Australian renewables energy industry will install more than 10 gigawatts of new solar and wind power before the end of 2019 and if that rate is maintained, Australia would reach 50% of its renewables target in 2025.
The reduction target, set under the famed Paris Agreement into global climate change, forms part of a commitment made by Australia in 2015 to cut carbon emissions nationwide by up to 28% of 2005 levels by the year 2030.
It represents reductions of around 52% in emissions per capita and around 65% in the emissions intensity of the economy between 2005 and 2030.
Homeowners and industry have embraced the renewables challenge so well that it now seems possible the nation will reach the equivalent of 100% renewables for its electricity supply well before then.
A report by the Energy Exchange Institute at Australian National University, says merely keeping up the current rate of renewable energy deployment – roughly divided between solar photovoltaics (PVs), wind farms and rooftop solar PVs – would meet the country’s entire emissions reduction task for the whole economy by 2025.
That doesn’t take into account recent announcements at State level to make solar a more attractive option to consumers.
In 2015, the Senate passed a Renewable Energy Target (RET) which aims to have more than 23.5% of Australia’s electricity derived from renewable sources by 2020.
The scheme is split into two areas – large-scale for the establishment and expansion of renewable energy power stations with a target of 33,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity generation by 2020; and small-scale which includes financial incentives for households, small businesses and community groups to install systems such as solar hot water heaters, heat pumps and solar PV systems.
The RET is supported by the Australian Renewables Energy Agency, established in 2012 to promote and fund researchers, developers and businesses which demonstrate the feasibility and potential commercialisation of their renewables energy technologies and projects.
According to some reports, “surging numbers” of commercial and industrial projects are applying for accreditation under the RET.
By contrast, the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee struggled to find favour with the states and the coalition from the moment it was proposed last year.
Under the proposal, power retailers would have been required to meet minimum reliability and pollution standards as part of efforts to cut Australia’s carbon emissions.
But WA and the Northern Territory – neither of which are connected to the national electricity market – rejected the National Energy Guarantee, and opposition snowballed from all corners until the idea was unceremoniously dumped last month, in much the same way that Turnbull was a short time later.
Originally Published by SmallCaps.com.au – read full article here.