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Australia can phase out coal-fired power by 2043 even as electricity demand soars, the energy market operator said on Friday in a draft plan for electricity investments that will be needed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The base case for the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) plan sees a rapid transformation of the National Electricity Market (NEM) with major investment in renewable generation, energy storage, back-up generation and transmission as coal plants are retired.

“In this scenario, the NEM will operate without coal generation by 2043,” AEMO CEO Daniel Westerman said in a statement.

“This requires a substantial increase in battery and pumped-hydro storage, hydrogen or gas-fired generation for peak demand, all complemented by a market that incentivises energy users to adjust demand based on system conditions,” he said.

[Sonali Paul]

More: Australia will not need coal-fired power by 2043, market operator predicts

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