A new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) shows that Australia’s largest grid can rapidly transition to renewable energy, with the modelling showing coal can be rapidly replaced with no need for any new gas-fired generation.
The AEMO 2020 Integrated System Plan, which was released in July, reportedly shows a clear pathway for a rapid transition to 90 per cent renewable energy in the 2030s.
The findings were welcomed by the Climate Council, with senior researcher Tim Baxter saying that AEMO’S report shows that renewable energy is Australia’s best option for clean, cheap and reliable power.
“The market operator has made clear that the renewable energy industry, in the world’s sunniest and windiest inhabited continent, can power Australian homes, businesses and heavy industry. Wind and solar backed by storage are now the cheapest form of new generation in Australia, which means lower prices for everyone,” he said.
Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said that AEMO’s report shows that the current push for gas expansion from the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission is unnecessary and undesirable.
“We can transition to a renewable-powered energy grid without the need for any new gas. New gas is expensive, polluting and a poor public investment.”
“Our recently released Clean Jobs Plan shows we can create 15,000 jobs in renewable energy, while setting Australia up for the future and tackling climate change. Clean energy is a no brainer.”
“The report also shows that despite gas industry claims, an ever-deeper penetration of renewable energy doesn’t rely on growth in gas. Those scenarios where wind and solar provide more of Australia’s energy needs see the lowest need for all fossil fuels, including gas.”