Australia can achieve 100 per cent renewables at zero cost

Research from The Australian National University (ANU) has found that Australia is installing renewable power faster than any other country, helping it to meet its Paris emissions targets five years early.

Lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers said Australia was installing renewable power per capita faster than the European Union, Japan, China and the US.

Blakers from the ANU Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering (RSEEME) said: “Australia is on track to reach 50 per cent renewable electricity in 2024 and 100 per cent by 2032.

“The Australian renewable energy experience offers real hope for rapid global emissions reductions to preserve a living planet.”

Co-researcher Dr Matthew Stocks said the net additional cost of achieving the 2030 targets would be zero because expensive fossil fuels were being replaced by cheaper renewables.

“The price of electricity from large-scale solar PV and windfarms in Australia is currently about $50 per Megawatt-hour (MWh), and steadily falling,” Dr Stocks said.

“This is below the cost of electricity from existing gas-fired power stations and is also below the cost of new-build gas and coal power stations.

“Nearly all of the new power stations are either PV or wind.”

Co-researcher Bin Lu said stabilising a 100 per cent renewable electricity grid would be possible with energy storage, demand management and strong interstate connection using high-voltage transmission lines.

He said: “By far the leading storage technologies are pumped hydro and batteries.

“Australia’s coal power stations are old and are becoming less reliable, and transition to a modern renewable energy system can improve grid stability.”

Picture: Sundrop Farms

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