Australia’s switch to renewable energy could be just around the corner
The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology in Sydney has claimed that Australia’s electricity, heating and fuel needs can all be fulfilled by adopting renewable energy.
The 100 percent Renewable Energy for Australia Report found that Australia could phase out all coal burning by 2030 and convert all its transport to renewable energy by 2035.
The modelling was commissioned by GetUP! and Solar Citizens as part of the Homegrown Power Plan, which outlines how the country can switch to renewable energy, get its electricity system back on track and remove roadblocks holding back renewables.
The scenario projects that 97 percent of total electricity demand (including electric transport) will be supplied by renewables by 2035. It predicts that productivity in energy will double by 2030. By this time all coal power plants will be shut down and firm capacity will remain at the current level of approximately 75 percent throughout the entire scenario period.
Dr Sven Teske, Research Principal at ISF said: “Our modelling shows that by mid-century all of Australia’s energy can be completely decarbonised, including all transport, industry and heating. The modelling demonstrates an average of $20 billion in fuel cost savings every year between now and 2050. Australia would save, on average, $9 billion a year on power sector fuel costs and $11 billion a year on transport fuel costs between now and 2050.”
Sector-specific highlights of the report include:
- For the transport sector, the 100 percent scenario projects 41 percent renewables by 2035, 64 percent by 2040 and 100 percent by 2050. Australia could also eradicate all oil imports within one generation.
- Within industry, supply of energy could become 50 percent renewable by 2035 and 100 percent by 2050 with electricity consumption doubling by 2050 in order to replace direct fuel consumption.
- Across all sectors, 41 percent of energy could become renewable by 2030, 59 percent by 2035, 70 percent by 2040 and 96 percent by 2050.
SOURCE: [Renewable Energy Magazine]
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.