With the increasing installation of residential & commercial solar systems and huge solar farms, there is no doubt that Australia can become a renewable energy superpower. Recently Clean Energy Council has unveiled the road map of a 100% renewable grid by 2030.

The 2021 Australian Energy Statistics for electricity generation shows that 24 percent of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy in 2020.

This increase with driven by a boom in solar installation. Solar is now the largest source of renewable energy at 9 percent of total generation, up from 7 percent in 2019, with one in four Australian homes having solar – the highest uptake in the world.

Australian states and territories are on the way to reaching 100% renewable energy.

In 2020, each state and territory saw its renewable energy capacity grow by more than 20 percent to reach a national capacity of 27 percent — and it’s showing no signs of slowing down! Despite the presence of coal-obsessed, climate laggards within Parliament — states like Tasmania and South Australia are already proving that 100% renewable is 100% doable.

Upon reaching 100% renewable energy capacity in November last year, Tasmania is setting its sights on a target of 200% renewable energy by 2040. It’s expected that Tassie will produce twice its current electricity needs and export the surplus to the mainland via the proposed AU$3.5 billion Marinus Link cable.

South Australia continues to prove that it’s possible to shift from coal to clean energy without hurting the economy or energy supply. SA now has about twenty large wind farms and four large solar generators in the state, with many more projects in the pipeline, including big batteries. These projects will pave the way for SA to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030, at the latest. The turnaround is a pretty impressive feat, considering that SA was 100% reliant on fossil fuel as recently as 2006!

As a traditionally coal-dominated state, New South Wales is making waves with its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap; promising to deliver $380 million over the next four years to support 12 GW of renewable energy capacity. Plus, a recent report by Reputex found that NSW can reach 100 per cent renewable energy as early as 2030!

The Clean Energy Council’s vision was delivered in the form of a nine-point plan. I will go into more detail on the proposed policies, but as a taster each of the nine pathways could be summarised as:

  • Electrify Australia
  • Incentivise Australians to switch to clean energy
  • Upgrade electricity networks
  • Organise workforces and supply chains
  • Fund coal communities’ transitions
  • Accelerate Australia’s energy market reforms
  • Fund clean energy innovation
  • Decarbonise industry
  • Fund hydrogen to achieve maximum export potential

In short, the plan seems to move in chronological priorities, promoting the internal delivery of a 100% renewable electricity grid within the decade, while then setting up the foundations to build hydrogen capacity primarily as an export industry in the longer-term future.

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