November 30, 2018 Read More →

Analysis shows Australia on track to hit 50% renewable generation by 2030

Australian Financial Review:

Australia is on track to reach 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, an energy consultancy says, even if new installations of wind and solar energy drop to just a third of the present rate.

Green Energy Markets estimates that if construction of wind and solar farms and installations of roof top solar continues at present rates, the nation will get about 78 per cent of its power from renewable energy by 2030.

“I think most of us had thought a while back that 50 per cent by 2030 would be a pretty massive task for the industry to scale up to meet,” says Green Energy Markets director Tristan Edis. “But given the spectacular level of construction and rooftop solar installation activity since 2017, the industry is now facing a rather massive contraction in activity and employment even if Labor are elected nationally.”

Global insurer Allianz has ranked Australia last among Group of 20 top economies for its action to implement the Paris climate agreement – with zero marks – and Environment Minister Melissa Price heads to Poland next week to update the latest round of United Nations climate talks on what Australia is doing to meet its Paris obligations.

The Green Energy Markets report suggests things are not that dire. Solar rooftop installations are on track to hit 1500MW this year – about the capacity of the Hazelwood coal plant shut down in Victoria last year amid a political firestorm. Another 6800MW of large-scale wind and solar projects is being built – leaving the Australian Energy Market Operator struggling to manage grid indigestion – with annual construction commitments including rooftop solar running near 5000MW.

Only a third of this annual construction rate – about 1850 MW – would be required to meet Labor’s 50 per cent renewables target, and jobs in the rooftop solar sector would fall from 24,000 today to about 6000.

More: Australia on track for 50pc renewables by 2030

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