A shift to 100 per cent renewable electricity in Australia could save the country more than $20 billion a year, according to a new report.
A Plan to Repower Australia was released this week by the Community Power Agency on behalf of six climate and environment organisations, including the Australian Conservation Foundation, GetUp!, 350.org, Nature Conservation Council and Environment Victoria.
Lead report author and Community Power Agency director Nicky Ison said the plan could rapidly slash pollution from Australia’s electricity sector and set the nation up as a “clean energy export superpower”.
“Australia has some of the best wind and solar resources in the world and technical capacity to meet its electricity needs with 100 per cent clean energy by 2030, so let’s get on with it,” he said.
The three-step plan outlines how Australia can achieve a 100 per cent renewable energy future by 2030.
The report recommends Australia “rewrite the rules” and change policy to deliver more renewable electricity, as well as turbo-charge existing energy policies.
The third step is to stop companies burning coal and gas by planning the gradual, orderly closure of coal-fired power.
According to the report, between 2017 and 2050, moving to clean energy and increasing energy efficiency would result in fuel cost savings that cover 110 per cent of the cost of the shift.
It says Australia would save, on average, $9 billion a year on power sector fuel costs and $11 billion a year on transport fuel costs.
National director of GetUp Paul Oosting said Australia could be a “renewable energy superpower”.
“The only thing holding us back is the greedy power companies trying to lock us into old technology they control, and the politicians in their pockets,” he said.
“They are out of step with what Australians want, what science demands and what the rest of the world is already doing.
“People are ready for a safer future powered by clean energy. And we’re going to keep fighting for it until we get the job of repowering Australia done.”