An analysis by the Australian National University has revealed that Australia’s electricity could be from 100% renewable sources by 2030. During 2018 and 2019 alone, the country will install 10,400MW worth of energy generation – 7,200MW in large-scale solar and wind and 3,200MW of rooftop systems.
Put together, this new generation capacity is around 30% of Australia’s peak-time electricity demand.
Australia is storming through its renewables target
One of the report’s co-authors says that this growth spurt, if it continues, will break through the country’s 2030 renewables target of 26%. This emissions reduction – just over a quarter – will actually be achieved in 2021 and the electricity sector on its own will hit Australia’s Paris reductions target by 2025.
Australia is deploying solar and wind energy systems at one of the highest rates in the world (by population) and is it continues at this pace into the 2020s it’ll exceed the 2020 large-scale 33,000GW Renewable Energy Target.
The country will also be running on 29% renewable energy by 2020, 50% by 2025 and 100% by 2030.
A lack of coherent energy policy is stalling renewables
As solar and wind generation facilities now account for 60% of new capacity worldwide and an amazing 100% of Australia’s new capacity, we’re entering a whole new energy era.
Wholesale electricity from PV and wind prices are now between $50 and $65 per MWh and continuing to fall. The average wholesale electricity price in NSW from non-renewables is $82 per MWh. As more renewables come online, wholesale prices are going to face downward pressure.
However, there’s a disconnect between this and state and federal policies on storage and transmission. If Australia really is to become self-sufficient and even able to export cheap electricity, then policymakers and state governments need to devise workable ways to transport this cheap power across state lines and seas.
It’s especially important for individual homes to have access to storage batteries in the coming years, as this represents the next step in breaking free from coal.