In response to the 30-year roadmap report released today by the Australian Energy Market operator, Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria said:
“Australia’s Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is now predicting that 60% of Australia’s coal will be closed by 2030, all of Victoria’s coal will be closed by 2032 and the very last coal power station will shut by 2042.
“Although still not fast enough to meet Paris Agreement goals of averting catastrophic climate change, AEMO’s report at least provides a more realistic timeline for rapidly shifting to clean renewable power and ramping up storage technologies as an urgent national energy security priority.
“Each time this roadmap is updated the market operator shows that the shift to renewables is happening quicker than they previously thought.
“But as AEMO CEO Daniel Westerman has pointed out, Australia’s renewable capacity needs to grow nine-fold to meet our future energy needs. Environment Victoria agrees with AEMO’s description that the energy transition is ‘irreversible’ and both a ‘challenge and an opportunity’, and that the energy transition is urgent but achievable, but we need to act now.
“Victorians remain worried about their energy bills this winter that have seen some Victorians having to go cold – and this is because of the behaviour of Australia’s gas cartel. The faster we build renewables, the more we will be protected from fossil fuel price gouging.
“Accelerating the renewables build now in a systematic, planned way will ensure we avoid excessive and unnecessary costs to Australian households and businesses further down the track.
“We note this report’s forecasts do not include Victoria’s massive 9-gigawatt target for offshore wind, which will bring forward the day we can switch off all gas and coal power stations.
“Month by month there’s more renewables in the grid. In just three years time AEMO says we will be experiencing times when the grid is 100% renewable.
“The biggest challenge right now is getting investment in sufficient storage in terms of batteries and pumped hydro. We need the market to be designed properly – we need a renewable energy storage target to give investors the confidence they need.
“At the upcoming Victorian State election we need to see all parties committing to accelerating Victoria’s shift to a 100% renewable energy system for the state.
“The required pace of new renewables shows the need for coordinated government-wide, systemic effort in Victoria to get our carbon pollution to zero.”
James Norman, Media and Content Manager