Major shift from coal to renewables by 2050

Australia, one of the most coal-dependent energy economies in the world, is on track to have one of the greenest energy networks in the world, according to recently released research by Green Energy Markets of Australia.

The report says Australia is on its way to producing 51 per cent of all its energy by 2050. What’s more, the findings indicate the country is on the path to producing 22 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by the end of the decade – a figure 2 per cent more than the established goals of the Federal Government.

Two major factors are empowering the shift: rapid growth of solar energy and the gradual phase-out of oil and brown coal – the two most carbon-intensive energy sources, as reported by The Energy Collective.

Currently, Australia produces 60 per cent its electricity from coal, 24 per cent from natural gas, 13 per cent from renewables and 2 per cent from oil. With the decline of fossil fuels by 3.1 per cent each year, Australia’s renewable energy source uptake is climbing by 4.8 per cent a year, from 2012-2013, with similar growth rate expected through to 2050, according to Coal Guru.

Under this projection, total renewable generation will hit 194TWh for a 51 per cent market share by 2049-2050. Wind power will represent the largest percentage of total renewables at 21TWh and a 4.7 per cent annual growth rate, while solar will be the fastest grower at 12.3 per cent per year to reach 16TWh, as reported by The Energy Collective.

Green Energy Market’s analysis doesn’t include community solar projections or Australia’s nascent carbon market, which has already linked with New Zealand and the European Union and is considering linkages to China and South Korea.