One of Australia’s largest transmission network operators, presiding over the nation’s most coal dependent state, says the national grid could – and should – be 100% renewable powered by 2035, with all coal generation phased out completely by 2032.
Transgrid, which manages and operates the high voltage electricity transmission network in New South Wales and the ACT on Tuesday released its Energy Vision – a 70-plus page report exploring six possible scenarios for the National Electricity Market out to 2050.
Based on detailed modelling undertaken in partnership with the CSIRO, ClimateWorks Australia and The Brattle Group, the report details an “unstoppable” transition that, in five out of six scenarios, takes the NEM to more that 70% renewables by 2035 and more than 90% by 2050.
But the most impressive trajectory is in the scenario called Deep Decarbonisation – the only scenario consistent with the Paris Agreement’s targeted 1.5°C limit on warming – where the supply of renewable energy on the NEM is forecast to reach an astonishing 91% as early as 2030.
“In this scenario, Australia achieves net zero emission and a 100% renewable power system by 2035, internal combustion engine vehicles are completely phased out by 2050, replaced primarily by electric vehicles, and hydrogen is used for heavy transport, industry and peaking electricity generation.”