Clean Power

Published on November 15th, 2012 | by Mridul Chadha


Australia Targets 85% Energy Generation From Renewable Sources By 2050

November 15th, 2012 by  

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.

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About the Author

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.

  • The problem here is that our govt considers natural gas a renewable resource instead of the fossil fuel that it is. Currently we have around 10% renewables, most of that old hydro, with PV and wind slowly catching up. But the main focus of the govt is to transition to natural gas. While this will reduce our emissions, it is only a stepping stone. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel lobby still has a lot of power here, but slowly the public are realising we have to get off coal and other fossil fuels and are supporting renewables. Unfortunately, a lot of the mainstream media is pretty good at putting a negative spin on anything renewable…

  • mds

    “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.”
    Residential electricity in Australia costs over $0.25/kwh and they have sun up the wazu. Solar prices are already at half price there and still dropping. That’s the requirement for a disruptive transition. Can they avoid 40% by 2035 and 85% by 2050 if they try? $100 billion? Maybe to buy all that unused natural gas, just get out of the way for the solar.

  • mds

    @Ronald Brak
    I don’t think it’s odd. It’s transparent. Large companies are pushing the government to save them from their poor investment.

  • Ronald Brak

    It’s a little odd that Australia is predicting massive increases in natural gas use and exports while the nation is in the middle of a natural gas slump, with domestic use well below what was predicted and plans for new natural gas generating capacity scrapped. The below expected demand is largely due to improved efficiency and rooftop solar. Predictions of massive Asian demand for Australian natural gas exports appear to rely on other countries not doing what Australia has done, which doesn’t seem likely. I’m not saying there won’t be any demand for natural gas exports, but it might be much less than what is predicted.

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