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Policy

‘Australian renewables must double for climate goals’

Australia’s renewable energy sector needs to grow at double the current rate if it’s to achieve its climate targets.

That’s according to a report by the Clean Energy Council, which revealed that renewables provided 35.9% of the country’s electricity generation in 2022 – an improvement on recent years but not quick enough.

Chief Executive of the council Kane Thornton admitted that although this percentage should be a “significant cause for optimism,” the country must accelerate the pace “whatever way you look at it.”

Last year was one of Australia’s best yet for renewables; with construction starting for more than 5,000MW of large-scale wind and solar farms.

Explaining the reasons for concern, Mr Thornton added: “2022 was a good year for projects under construction but a slower year for projects reaching financial close.”

Although work started on many projects, the number actually generating electricity is not high enough for the nation’s emission goals, the report intimates.

“The challenge for the government is that we’ve really blown the last 10 years. Now we’re really playing catch-up,” the Chief Executive said.

Tasmania was the state with the most power supplied by renewables, at 99.1% – but Queensland brought the average down with just 22.6%.

Australian Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, said: “Cleaner and cheaper energy is absolutely central to our growth strategy for the Australian economy. The whole world is moving in this direction in one way or another. We want to be beneficiaries not victims of what’s happening around the world.”

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has been contacted for a response.

Read the full article here

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