A national energy roadmap outlining how Australia can cut its rising greenhouse gas pollution levels, while continuing the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology, has  been released by the Climate Council.

The Clean & Reliable Energy: Roadmap To A Renewable Future report features 12 key policy principles for any national energy and climate policy framework, including calls for the rollout of a minimum 50-70% renewable energy target across Australia by 2030.

“Australia needs a fresh approach to cutting greenhouse gas pollution from our electricity,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert Greg Bourne.

“The Federal Government’s offering of the National Energy Guarantee simply doesn’t cut it on improving energy reliability, cutting power prices and tackling climate change. Australia can do better than this.”

“Australia’s transition to renewables and storage is already underway. The only thing placing this at risk is political will. This roadmap calls for twelve basic, key policy principles that should apply to any credible national climate and energy policy in Australia.”

The Roadmap To A Renewable Future framework recommends Australia continues to transition away from its ageing, polluting and inefficient coal and gas fleet and encourage investment in a new clean power supply. The report calls for pollution targets which can be ratcheted up along with transparent tracking and reporting of carbon pollution levels.

“This roadmap shows that it’s our electricity sector that has the greatest potential to slash pollution through the transition to a 21st Century energy grid, consisting of clean renewables and storage technologies,” said Bourne.

“In order to tackle climate change, the electricity sector needs to cut its carbon pollution by more than 60% over the next decade and head towards zero pollution. Renewables plus storage is how we can do it.”

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDE:

  • Australian climate and energy policy must accept the need for deep pollution cuts from the electricity sector in order to limit global temperature rise and tackle climate change.
  • This means slashing carbon pollution from the electricity sector by 60% by 2030, and ensuring that targets can be ratcheted up over time.
  • The Australia’s electricity sector needs plans in place to reach net zero emissions well before 2050. This is in line with National Energy Market state and territory commitments.
  • To have any effect on carbon pollution (and not just add bureaucratic red tape), any NEM wide emissions target for 2030 and beyond must meet or exceed the total level of state and territory targets.
  • Australia must achieve a minimum of 50 – 70% renewable energy across Australia by 2030.
  • A credible reliable climate and energy policy needs to encourage investment in new clean power supply – when and where needed – well in advance of coal closures, and not place reliability in the hands of ageing coal and gas generators.

The report also features key findings highlighting how the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee risks derailing Australia’s booming renewable energy and storage sector and will not provide an integrated solution to improving reliability or tackling climate change.

Climate Councillor and energy sector veteran Professor Andrew Stock said that the Federal Government was missing in action when it comes to credible climate and energy policy.

“The proposed National Energy Guarantee falls short across the board when it comes to reliable affordable power and tackling climate change. It simply doesn’t deliver on any of these key goals,” said Stock.

Professor Stock said the Federal Government  must go beyond the states’ leadership and rollout strong and credible climate and energy policy in order to drive the necessary cuts to greenhouse gas pollution in the electricity sector, while also maintaining reliable and affordable power.

“The window of opportunity to tackle climate change is rapidly closing. Australia cannot settle for anything less than strong, credible climate and energy policy. The NEG is anything but that.”