Australia could have 100% renewable electricity by 2030s, says new report
Australia is on course to have 100% renewable electricity by the 2030s, according to a new report from the Australian National University.
If the country maintains its current rate of installations - 10,400MW of new renewable energy is set to be added in 2018 and 2019 - then it will accelerate beyond its Renewable Energy Target.
Projections indicate that Australia will have 29% renewable electricity in 2020, and 50% in 2025. Electricity emissions are estimated to be reduced by 26% by 2021, and the electricity sector on its own could meet Australia’s entire Paris emissions reductions target of 26% by 2025.
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"All the evidence points to Australia’s capacity to be a renewable energy superpower, with all the economic and environmental benefits that come with that," said Professor Ken Baldwin, Energy Change Institute Director. "We need Australia’s governments to put in place the right plans for the renewable energy train to have a smooth ride."
Professor Andrew Blakers, ANU Research School of Engineering, added: "The Australian renewable energy industry is unequivocally demonstrating that it has the technical capability to deliver vast quantities of cheap, reliable, secure and zero-emissions energy."
According to the research, the new capacity will be divided approximately equally between large-scale solar photovoltaics (PV), wind farms and rooftop solar PV.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.