Clean and secure power – A roadmap to a renewable future

| March 10, 2018

Australia needs a fresh approach to cutting greenhouse gas pollution from the electricity sector. The Federal Government’s latest NEG proposal for lower emissions targets and supporting ageing coal power is woefully inadequate and a new plan is required.

So what does leadership on energy and climate policy look like?

To answer this critical question, one that Australia has grappled with for years, the Climate Council  have developed a Roadmap to a Renewable Future, with a set of key policy principles to rapidly transition Australia to reliable, affordable renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Our Roadmap provides a real alternative to the Australian Government’s latest inadequate energy and emissions policy proposal, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

Australia needs to act quickly and decisively by cutting greenhouse gas pollution from the electricity sector.

Australia needs a fresh approach to cutting greenhouse gas pollution from the electricity sector. Yet the Federal Government’s latest NEG proposal for lower emissions targets and supporting ageing coal power is woefully inadequate.

Data released last week shows Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels have risen again for the third consecutive year. Not enough is being done now to cut emissions as the window to tackle climate change is rapidly closing.

Australia’s transition to a future powered by clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage is underway, being driven by the Renewable Energy Target and state and territory policies. The NEG proposes capping state and territory action, putting at risk investment and jobs in Australia’s booming renewable energy and storage sector.

Worryingly, the NEG could result in less renewable energy by 2030 than if the Federal Government was simply sitting on its hands, and it will lock Australia into doing little or nothing to reduce emissions across the National Energy Market (NEM) for well over a decade.

The proposed NEG will take Australia backwards. It won’t deliver what’s needed to tackle climate change, it won’t improve reliability or affordability, and will add more red tape. We need to get as many change makers as possible to see our Roadmap before April, when Australia’s state and federal energy ministers gather for the next COAG Energy Council Meeting.

Our Roadmap sets out 12 key policy principles, including:

  • Australian climate and energy policy must accept the need for deep pollution cuts from the electricity sector in order to limit global temperature rise and tackle climate change.
  • This means slashing carbon pollution from the electricity sector by 60% by 2030, and ensuring that targets can be ratcheted up over time.
  • Australia’s electricity sector needs plans in place to reach net zero emissions well before 2050. This is in line with National Energy Market state and territory commitments.
  • To have any effect on carbon pollution (and not just add bureaucratic red tape), any NEM wide emissions target for 2030 and beyond must meet or exceed the total level of state and territory targets.
  • Australia must achieve a minimum of 50 – 70% renewable energy across Australia by 2030.
  • A credible reliable climate and energy policy needs to encourage investment in new clean power supply – when and where needed – well in advance of coal closures, and not place reliability in the hands of ageing coal and gas generators.

We will not only push our report into the public realm but meet with key stakeholders and influencers across federal and state governments and the energy sector to push our plan as a viable alternative to the NEG.

With your help, we can promote our Roadmap as an effective solution and break the current energy policy roadblock.

Although the electricity sector is Australia’s biggest polluter, it’s also our biggest opportunity to take action quickly. We need to convince our policy makers to implement credible and reliable climate and energy policy now, not to use the NEG to kick the climate can down the road for another decade.

We have the solution. So let’s continue to push for change.

Andrew Stock

Professor Andrew Stock is a Councillor at the Climate Council.  He brings over 40 years experience in senior management and executive roles in energy businesses, spanning traditional energy suppliers and emerging energy technologies and renewables, as well as senior academic positions.

One Comment

  1. Alan Stevenson

    Alan Stevenson

    March 11, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I am with you there but what can the average person do that is practicable? I have just installed photovoltaics on the roof (without battery backup) and have solar hot water.

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