At the same time that scientists issued a strong, worded appeal to political leaders to cut carbon emissions, a new energy market analysis by leading energy consultants RepuTex predicts that Australia will reach 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
The predictions come despite the lack of a federal government energy policy.
However, the analysis also warns that a drop in new wind and solar investments could threaten a continued decline in wholesale electricity prices.
RepuTex said the current push to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 was being carried out by state renewable energy targets and rooftop solar schemes, which were devised to make gas and coal-fired power less competitive.
The consulting firm said that the transition was expected to produce a decrease in wholesale prices in the national energy market from around $ 80 per megawatt-hour (/ MWh) in 2020 to $ 70 / MWh in the next three years, which translates into a 15 percent drop from today's levels.
RepuTex however, warned that investment in renewable energy plummeted by 50 percent last year compared to the previous year, and predicted that the decline would continue, a development that will put upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices, particularly tailored. that the main carbon facilities begin to close.
"In the absence of an effective policy framework to guide new investments, the decline in our aging generation fleet will lead to higher electricity prices before new supply is developed, hurting both businesses and consumers," said the assessment.
In an effort to emphasize a positive message on the subject, the Treasurer of Australia's conservative liberal government, Josh Frydenberg, told ABCTV's Insider program that the emission reduction target of 26% from 2005 levels by 2030 was a floor and not a limit. , "And we hope to exceed our goal."
However, while he stated that the government wanted to exceed the 2030 target, Frydenberg said the target was not going to be adjusted.
"We are giving the Australian people a very clear goal, so we are not about to raise that goal," said the treasurer, adding: "What we are trying to do is meet our commitments now."
Frydenberg did not mention that the government intends to use an accounting measure, credits transferred from the Kyoto Protocol period, to meet the 2030 target, with carry-over credits, not practical reduction, providing about half of the reduction burden of pollution until 2030.
Frydenberg said more than $ 7 billion was invested in renewable energy last year.
It omitted the efforts of the Liberal-National government under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to virtually destroy the Renewable Energy Target (RET), and the fact that the RET ends as of this year, with the political uncertainty that triggers the decline in new investments captured. in the RepuTex analysis.
When asked if he believed there was now a climate emergency, the Treasurer covered himself. "Climate change is a major challenge, a global challenge that needs a global solution," he said, adding: "We are doing our part and we are also working on the international stage."
Frydenberg said with some pressure that climate change was not an emergency. "It is an important issue, but as the Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) has pointed out, there are many things we can do with mitigation and adaptation to try to reduce the impact of climate change on the Australian community," he closed.
Author: David Twomey