The Australian energy market could benefit from a major changeMay 23, 2018
Report predicts $20 billion in savings from a shift in the energy sector
A major shift in the Australian energy market could help save $20 billion a year in combined fuel and electricity costs, according to a new report from the Community Power Agency. The report outlines a plan wherein homes and businesses acquire their power from renewable sources. It also predicts that 40% of all transportation throughout the country with be emissions free by 2035. Nicky Ison, a co-author of the report, notes that political battles over renewable power can only slow its progress, not halt it completely.
A new energy retailer could help expand access to clean power
The report calls for the creation of a “public interest” retailer. Such an organization would provide services to bolster energy efficiency and bring clean power to low-income communities. The report likens this organization to eBay, “but for local energy.” The plan outlined in the report calls for increased focus on and access to solar power. This type of clean energy could be particularly beneficial for residents of apartments and it may help accelerate the deployment of new battery technology for energy storage purposes.
Communities still using coal will need to transition slowly
Any significant changes in the Australian energy market would require the country to move away from coal and other fossil-fuels. Communities that still rely heavily on these types of power should be granted a “just transition,” according to the report. Immediately closing down coal power plants in some communities could cause severe economic distress. The report’s plan aims to provide workers and communities with enough time to make the transition away from fossil-fuels. It also aims to provide workers with the tools they need to enter into the renewable energy field.
Energy shift could pay for itself
The Community Power Agency suggests that Australia’s energy shift could actually pay for itself. The organization estimates that the household savings coming from the transition would account for 110% of the money that would be required for it to be carried out. Moreover, the transition would lead to a significant reduction in emissions. Carbon pollution is estimated to fall to 196 million tons by 2030, down from the 450 million tons that had been recorded in 2015.