Decarbonising Australia’s Energy Sector Within One Generation

The transition to a 100% renewable energy system by 2050 is both technically possible and economically viable in the long term.

This report presents two scenarios for transitioning towards a decarbonised energy system and a reference case based on current policies. 

The Advanced Renewables scenario is the focus of this report as it is the most ambitious scenario, resulting in a renewable electricity system by 2030 (for stationary energy) and a fully renewable energy system by 2050.

 The key results of the Advanced Renewables scenario are presented below, and discussed in detail in report alongside the Renewables and Reference scenarios.

Power Sector

• The supply of electricity is 100% renewable by 2030 for stationary power.

 • By 2035 97% of total electricity demand (including electrified transport) is supplied by renewables.

• Energy productivity doubles by 2030.

• All coal power plants shut down by 2030.

• Firm capacity remains at today’s level of approximately 75% throughout the entire scenario period.

Transport Sector

• The supply of energy is 41% renewable by 2035, 64% by 2040 and 100% by 2050.

• Australia is independent from oil imports within one generation.

Industry Sector

• The supply of energy is 50% renewable by 2035 and 100% by 2050.

• Electricity use doubles by 2050 to replace direct fuel consumption.

Primary Energy

• 41% of energy use across all sectors is renewable by 2030, 59% by 2035, 75% by 2040 and 96% by 2050.

Cost Analysis

 New capital investment in the power sector would almost entirely (99%) be directed to renewables and cogeneration until 2050.

• This results in higher investment costs of $800 billion out to 2050, compared to $150 billion in the Reference scenario.

 A large part of the additional investment in renewable power generation capacity goes towards meeting increased demand from the transport and heating sectors (as those sectors switch over to electricity), and towards generating synthetic fuels for use in those sectors.

• Because renewable technologies have no ongoing fuel costs, power sector fuel savings of $340 billion and transport fuel savings of $400 billion more than compensate for the higher investment costs, a net saving of $90 billion.

• The combined power and transport fuel cost savings would cover around 110% of the capital investment cost.

 New renewable power generation needed for a 100% renewable energy system can therefore be financed by fuel cost savings before 2050.

Press link for more: UTS.EDU.AU



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