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Clean Energy Council’s strategic plan for Australia’s net-zero future

The Clean Energy Council has released a strategic package of 45 recommendations to the Federal Government to get Australia on track to reach its target of 82 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

The submission, “Power Playbook: Accelerating Australia’s Clean Energy Transformation”, is an integrated plan for Australia to seize its global opportunities and maintain a competitive advantage in renewable energy.

Its aim is to create a formalised masterplan and recommendations, including:

  • A Clean Energy Transformation Investment Package – $10 billion per annum for at least 10 years, or a minimum of $100 billion – to boost Australia’s international renewable energy competitiveness.
  • The Federal Government formalising a Renewable Energy Superpower Masterplan.
  • Full decarbonisation of the electricity sector by 2035, and recognition that low-cost, renewable energy will be the foundation of Australia’s competitive advantage in a net-zero economy.
  • A long-term national policy mechanism to drive sustained investment in large-scale renewable energy projects, including extension of the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) beyond 2030 to at least 2040.
  • A co-ordinated national delivery plan for transmission projects of national significance.
  • New national targets for rooftop solar and distributed energy storage for 2030 and 2040.
  • Expansion of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme to support battery uptake.
  • A national offshore wind target to provide investor certainty, supported by a policy support mechanism.
  • Investment allocations for green hydrogen, green iron and energy transition minerals processing.
  • Development of a National Clean Energy Supply Chain strategy.
  • Alignment of higher education funding models with industry needs for the clean energy transformation.

“Our renewable energy future needs a single cohesive strategy for us to progress as a nation,” says Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton.

“Our Power Playbook helps Australia chart that course. The decisions we make now will impact future generations. We can’t leave our energy future to chance.

“Our goal with the Power Playbook is to spark serious discussion and focus national efforts on establishing a masterplan to direct collective resources and deliver on our aspirations.

“Australia may not have the financial firepower of the US to throw resources at all the opportunities before us, but we can make the choice to invest strongly in priority markets that align with our comparative advantages.

“Every opportunity depends on access to low-cost renewable energy – that has to be our number one priority.”

The submission calls on the Federal Government to establish a Renewable Energy Superpower Masterplan, which is a strategy to outline Australia’s vision as a producer and exporter of clean energy and value-added products; identify priority markets for clean energy exports; and guide public and private investment.

“We need to signal that Australia intends to be a leader in clean energy and green commodities markets,” says Clean Energy Council’s policy director for decarbonisation, Anna Freeman.

“If we don’t, we’ll find ourselves at the back of the queue for capital, technology and skilled workers. Low-cost renewable energy is the foundation of a competitive Australia fit for the race to net zero.

“Australia needs to see a substantial increase in annual financial commitments in the order of 6GW to 7GW of new large-scale renewable projects from 2024, and the installation of approximately 3.5GW of rooftop solar per year through to 2030, to achieve the government’s target of 82 per cent [renewable energy] by 2030.

“We will then need to power ahead in renewable energy deployment if we are to realise our ambition to be a renewable energy superpower.”

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