The Report that was released by two Australian National University experts said that the nation’s emissions would decline by as much as three to four per cent between 2020 and 2022. This is due to the arrival of renewable energy projects poised to become a part of the electricity system. The researchers said Australia can easily meet its 2030 carbon emissions target by replacing coal-fired power stations with renewable energy sources.
Under the Paris agreement Australia and other signatories pledged to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. But the report also warned that beyond 2022, emissions “may rise again” unless there’s support to allow the “continued rapid deployment” of solar and wind. Kane Thornton, CEO of Clean Energy Council, “This analysis is ignorant and misleading investment in renewable energy has already slowed.
Unprecedented growth in generation from wind and solar reinforces the need for more investment in storage and transmission.” The incline in investment this year has led industry to renew its calls for a long-term national energy policy, and another renewable energy target. Responding to the paper, Energy Minister Angus Taylor pointed to recent figures from the Clean Energy Regulator showing there’s $25 billion of new wind and solar due for 2018 to 2020.
The minister’s focus is more on keeping coal-fired power stations in the market for as long as possible, or replacing them with like-for-like capacity. Mr. Taylor has also spearheaded an underwriting new generation investments plan, which includes 12 shortlisted projects – mainly gas and hydro.