Industry leaders unveil blueprint for our clean energy future
A coalition of 17 industry leaders has today presented to the Federal Government a blueprint, dubbed Our Energy Future, to drive Australia toward clean energy and renewables.
The blueprint was developed by The Leadership Forum on Energy Transition, a group of prominent experts, including, “CEOs of energy companies, scientists, academics, economists, bankers, lawyers, conservationists, broadcasters and a former Governor General of Australia.”
It was presented to Environment & Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and asks the federal government to lead a push toward clean and sustainable energy in Australia.
“A nation powered by clean energy is not only possible, it is necessary to protect our beautiful and fragile island continent from dangerous climate change and provide reliable, secure and affordable energy for all Australians,” the paper claimed.
It stated that, “A planned transition to clean energy will bring healthier lives and economic certainty. It will unleash billions in investment and create jobs.” But it also recognised that strong leadership was needed to ensure the shift to renewable green energy was performed as smoothly as possible, and especially that coal dependant communities and low-income earners were not disadvantaged.
The blueprint outlined 8 “actions” that industry leaders felt should form the basis of any future government plans to push Australia toward clean energy. These actions were:
1. Update the electricity market to speed up a clean energy transition
2. Facilitate and accelerate the inevitable closure of coal plants
3. Accelerate the uptake of clean energy and support the development of new technology
4. Create an attractive sustainable investment environment for clean energy
5. Ensure a just transition for communities and workers
6. Protect vulnerable Australians
7. Make Australia’s buildings and businesses much more efficient users of energy
8. Dramatically reduce transport emissions
The report called on the Australian government to “establish rules, policies, regulations, markets and a basis for investment that will power the transition,” and that any future plan should be aimed at a transition to clean energy by 2050.
It argued for an overhaul of the electricity market, stating that the current electricity system is outdated - not least of all because of inefficient tariffs - and called on government to “reform these tariffs to properly reflect underlying cost/price signals and give people and businesses incentives to adopt clean and smart technologies.”
It also mentioned that Australia’s coal-fired stations are some of the most polluting in the world, describing them as “old, inefficient technology that is well past its use-by date; five of our generators are more than 35 years old.” The plan would see Australia shift away from coal based power, and toward clean, renewable sources of energy.
The major renewable options available to the Australian market today are wind and solar power. Wind is expected to provide up to 20% of global electricity by 2030, and South Australia is aiming to reach 50% of renewable energy - mainly wind and solar - by 2025.
“This is not a decision for future generations. Before a child born today even finishes high school, our energy systems will be vastly different. Change is happening now. Our only choice is how we manage this change,” the paper concluded.
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You can read the full report here.