Australia’s energy sector needs to increase its adoption of innovative technologies to support a move towards a low emissions electricity system, according to TransGrid managing director Peter McIntyre, following the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) announcement.
Mr McIntyre said research shows a potential future of electric vehicles and industries powered by renewable energy, as Australia moved toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Research by ClimateWorks Australia and Australian National University with CSIRO, Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in 2050, showed there would be a 2.5 fold increase in electricity demand to 2050, however, this would be largely powered by an expansion of renewable energy.
“In Australia, reaching zero carbon emissions will require a multi-pronged approach, including ambitious energy efficiency, greater use of low carbon electricity, and transitioning transport and industry to electricity use,” Mr McIntyre said.
“The energy industry is well placed to support innovation such as smarter, more cost-effective grid connection for large-scale renewable energy generators, supported by transformative storage technology.
“Initiatives to enable the underlying infrastructure for electric vehicles and new energy solutions for industry will provide significant economic prosperity while addressing climate change.”
ClimateWorks CEO Anna Skarbek said she welcomed recognition Australia can have a prosperous net zero carbon future and industry leaders were willing to play their part.
“The technology is available for Australia to modernise its energy system. Greater policy incentives are needed if we are to achieve a decarbonised electricity system by 2050 and avoid dangerous climate change,” she said.
“Increasing electrification and moving away from old fossil fuel power stations involves increased investment today, but these costs are continuing to fall and bring long-lasting benefits including increased energy productivity and reduced fuel costs.
“Importantly, the transition to a low emissions electricity system can occur without major structural changes to the economy or lifestyle and while maintaining economic prosperity, with a real GDP growth of 2.4 per cent a year.”