Australia is on track to reach 50 percent renewable electricity in 2024, ANU
Post date: 11/02/2019 - 19:18
If Australia keeps installing PV and wind at the current rate, then all fossil fuel use could be eliminated around 2050. The continuing rapid decline in the cost of PV and wind and increasing renewable electricity demand arising from the elimination of gas heating and the rise of electric vehicles could lead to accelerated deployment of PV and wind during the 2020s, and a much earlier end-date for fossil fuels, says a new report published by the Australian National University (ANU). According to the findings, the country is installing renewable power per person each year faster than any other country, helping it to meet its entire Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets five years early. »Australia is on track to reach 50 percent renewable electricity in 2024 and 100 percent by 2032.«
Australia is installing renewable energy 4 to 5 times faster per capita than the EU, Japan, China and the USA. The pipeline for new wind and solar PV electricity systems is about 6.3 GW per year. This equates to 250 W per person per year compared with about 50 W per person per year for the European Union, Japan, China and the USA. Wind and PV constitute about 60 percent of global net new capacity additions in 2017, PV (39 percent), wind (20 percent) and hydro (9 percent) together accounted for two thirds of global net new capacity additions, with gas and coal comprising most of the balance.
In 2018 Australia deployed 5.1 GW of PV and wind systems (3.4 GW ground-mounted, 1.7 GW roof-mounted). The current ground-mounted PV and wind pipeline is about 4.3 GW per year. Roof-mounted PV is increasing by about 50 percent per year and might exceed 2 GW in 2019, for a total renewables deployment of about 6.3 GW.
The Australian renewable energy pipeline is sustainable in the long term. More than 8 GW of roof mounted solar PV has now been deployed, which is by far the largest per capita rooftop-PV deployment in the world, says the study.
The price of electricity from large-scale PV and wind projects in Australia is currently about AUD 50 per MWh, and steadily falling. »This is below the cost of electricity from existing gas-fired power stations and is also below the cost of new-build gas and coal power stations.« The Australian renewable energy pipeline is sustainable in the long term. The average age of Australia’s coal power stations is 30 years. The cost of electricity from PV and wind is already similar to the cost of fuelling and maintaining most of the black coal fleet.