According to the recently published energy white paper from the Australian government, renewable energy sources could provide 40% of Australia’s energy demand by 2035 and 85% by 2050. This could be achieved by virtually eliminating coal-fired power stations over this time period. The paper was launched by Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson.
According to the Australian government, average electricity prices have increased to 40% in the last four years, and above 50% in some states, which is “simply not sustainable.”
The white paper focused on the country’s use of alternative energy, specifically natural gas and solar. According to the white paper, the government is determined to offset its dependence on coal-based energy, hoping to establish a new dependency on renewable forms of energy. It also talked about development strategies for natural gas and renewable energy in the coming decades to reduce coal supply usage. It is estimated that the transformation from coal to renewable energy would require an investment of A$200 billion in new power stations and infrastructure, including around A$50–60 billion in gas and A$100 billion in renewable energy.
The paper also emphasized the need for smart power demand management with tools like smart meters and smart appliances to reduce peak power demand. One such monitoring tool recently developed is the Energy Matters Power Monitor; which helps to assist solar households to manage their consumption in order to match their solar production; helping to make their investment in a solar panel system even more valuable.
Australia has made significant progress in the renewable energy sector over the past decade, but the energy focus for future needs remains natural gas. While launching the paper in Melbourne, Ferguson said he wants Australia to develop one of the “biggest gas markets in the world” and invest hundreds of billions into export terminals.
Image Credit: Australia wind turbine via Shutterstock
The views presented in the above article are author’s personal views only.
Mridul Chadha currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.