Decarbonising Australia’s energy sector within one generation

energy

Australia could provide all electricity, heating and fuel needs with renewable energy by 2050, according to Australian-first research conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney.

All coal-burning power by could be phased-out by 2030, and 40 per cent of transport energy needs could be needs by renewable energy by 2035, according to lead author of the report Dr Sven Teske.

“Our modelling shows that by mid century all of Australia’s energy can be completely decarbonised, including all transport, industry and heating,” he said.

The modelling demonstrates an average of $20 billion in fuel cost savings every year between now and 2050. Australia would save, on average, $9 billion a year on power sector fuel costs and $11 billion a year on transport fuel costs between now and 2050, according to the projections.

The report was commissioned by GetUp! and Solar Citizens as part of the Homegrown Power Plan, and explores how Australia remove the roadblocks holding back renewables.

The model used by ISF was created by the German Aerospace Agency, and has previously been used to inform the German government’s Energiewende and climate mitigation scenarios for the IPCC.

ISF developed three scenarios for the possible pathways for Australia’s future energy supply system:

  • Reference scenario reflecting a continuation of current trends and policies
  • 65 per cent Australian scenario focused on renewable energy in the stationary power sector, while the transport and industry sector remains dependent on fossil fuels
  • 100 per cent Australian scenario for a fully decarbonised power sector by 2030 and a fully renewable energy supply system – including transport and industry – by 2050