Future of renewable energy industry under threat
The WWF and Climate Risk have co-published a report that shows that investment in renewable energy resources could stall by 2020 unless the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target is increased to 2030.
The Our Clean Energy Future report contains modeling that shows that under the current carbon price and no increase to the RET after 2020, the renewable energy sector faces collapse in 2020 for the coming 30 years until convergence is achieved subject to carbon price.
“If our renewable industries are to survive Governments must ignore calls from the Australian Coal Association, Origin and Australian Industry Greenhouse network to scrap or reduce the RET, and instead give industry and investor certainty by increasing it out to 2030,” said WWF’s Climate Change National Manager, Kellie Caught.
The report argues that the Ret must be expanded out to 2030 of between 137,000 GWh and 169,000 GWh, which represents a 43 to 53 per cent target. The proposed revision would put Australia on the path to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 according to the report.
A 2030 ‘safety’ RET can prevent collapse of the renewable energy sector post 2020, drive costs down more quickly, and put Australia on a 100% renewable pathway,” said Ms Caught.
Dr Karl Mallon, co-author of the analysis said, “Even with the highest carbon price scenario modelled, renewable industries like geothermal power, ocean energy, and solar thermal will stall in 2020.”
“Clearly this would result in green collar job losses and an exodus of investment, but it also puts domestic emission cuts out of reach forcing Australia energy companies to go overseas for emission offsets for many years to come,” said Dr Mallon.
“The report also makes it clear we should be planning now to electrify the transport system and to grow renewable energy to meet the increased demand in the electricity sector”, said Ms Caught, “We can’t keep ignoring rising emissions from transport; electrification from renewable energy is the obvious solution.”
The full report can be found here