TransGrid’s Energy Vision sees Australia as a clean energy superpower

Aerial shot of Australian wind farm (Transgrid Energy Vision)
Image: Transgrid

Transgrid has announced its Energy Vision for Australia’s electricity system, which sets out how supporting the shift to clean energy and decarbonisation can, with the right supporting policies in place, supercharge the economy, create jobs and lower energy costs for consumers.

Transgrid executive manager for network planning and operations Kasia Kulbacka said the vision will influence Transgrid’s long-term planning for its future-focused energy infrastructure.

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“The aim of the Energy Vision is to demonstrate an evidence based approach that there is a pathway to enable Australia to become a global leader in clean energy, delivering significant benefits for the economy. The Energy Vision is the blueprint for what needs to happen in our energy system to capture this opportunity for the whole nation,” Kulbacka said.

The Energy Vision was developed in partnership with independent experts at the CSIRO, ClimateWorks Australia and The Brattle Group. It explores six possible futures for our energy system over the next 30 years to 2050 using detailed scenario modelling.

The six scenarios range from a future based on current trends, to a backwards-looking sharp slump in Australia’s economic growth, to more optimistic scenarios in which Australia hits the Paris Agreement’s aspirational 1.5°C decarbonisation target and becomes a global, clean energy superpower.

The standout finding was that Australia’s energy transformation will be net positive for Australian job creation. The modelling found a ‘deep decarbonisation’ of the Australian economy would create 45 per cent more electricity sector jobs this decade across the National Electricity Market (NEM), than a future where Australia continues to follow ‘current trends’.

In a ‘clean energy superpower’ future, 67,000 electricity sector jobs would be created between 2030 and 2050. Most of these jobs would be in regional Australia. Areas reliant on coal industries would benefit from new opportunities, with modelling projecting that by 2050 North Queensland and the Hunter Valley in NSW could produce and export the largest quantities of hydrogen and green steel in Australia.

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“Our modelling included direct jobs in the electricity sector but if you consider additional jobs in other sectors reliant on electricity, such as hydrogen, green steel and aluminium, the opportunities would be far greater,” Kulbacka said.

“There are strong benefits to be gained from moving rapidly to achieve a net zero emissions economy. Supporting domestic and global decarbonisation will supercharge our economy, drive job creation and lower the cost of electricity.

A video on Transgrid’s Energy Vision is available here.