For the past 10 years, Australian states and territories have had to go it alone in the transition to renewable energy. Now it looks like they will have federal support for powering Australia in a clean manner. Just in time, too, as the eastern grid is struggling to accommodate more renewables and coal-fired power stations are retiring early.
As he jets off to the Quad meeting in Japan, our newly minted prime minister will have a lot going through his mind about how to achieve the massive agenda that he has set. In a nutshell, the Australian Labor Party plans to create jobs, cut power bills, and reduce emissions “by 43% by 2030 — which will become Australia’s target under the Paris Agreement, keeping us on track for net zero by 2050.”
Some of the measures include: Upgrade the electricity grid to fix energy transmission and drive down power prices. Allocate up to $3 billion from Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals (steel, alumina, and aluminium); clean energy component manufacturing; hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching; agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction. Roll out 85 solar banks, previously called solar gardens, around Australia to ensure more households can benefit from rooftop solar. Install 400 community batteries across the country. Invest in 10,000 New Energy Apprentices and a New Energy Skills Program.
“Australia’s electricity network was designed for a different century, and transmission systems themselves are operated by monopoly providers who keep taking households and businesses for a ride,” Anthony Albanese says.
This energy policy is in addition to his support for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
The states have already done the heavy lifting on renewables — made heavier by the obstruction and obfuscation of the previous federal government (some of whose members still do not believe the climate science and actively oppose renewables). These federal policy changes will accelerate the move towards wind, solar, and batteries.