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What are the realities of energy transition from coal to renewables?

Dr Jason Byrne and Dr Tony Matthews examine (5.11.17) the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to renewables:

‘The Palaszczuk government in Queensland recently introduced impressive renewable energy targets. The over-arching goal is to guide the state to 50% renewable energy by 2030 – a mere 13 years away. Two key questions are: How fast is the shift to renewables likely to occur, and how realistic is it to expect a complete transition to 100% renewable energy? The answers depend upon a supportive policy environment, market forces, technology that solves issues of energy intermittency and storage, and the willingness of energy generators, investors and energy customers to embrace renewable energy. A continued transition to renewable energy will also depend upon a state government that supports renewables, and maintains a positive investment climate. We address these in turn.’

People need to see the benefits from local renewable energy projects, and that means jobs

Tom Morton and colleagues write in The Conversation (18.6.20) about how renewable energy projects are often in direct competition with fossil fuels for the hearts and minds of communities. The authors argue there’s a way to win people over, with ongoing local employment in an energy transition.

‘The Australian government’s investment roadmap for low-emissions technologies promises more taxpayers’ money to the gas industry but fails to deliver the policy needed for people to support a transition to renewable energy.

‘It ignores what academic experts, the CSIRO, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Industry Group and several premiers and energy ministers are all saying: renewable sources of energy are already cheaper than gas or coal generation, and wind and solar could provide up to 75% of Australia’s electricity by 2025.

‘The technologies could also drive employment in a post-COVID renewables-led recovery, enabling Australia to “rebuild stronger and cleaner”.

‘But policymakers need to make sure the communities bearing the costs of the energy transition also share in its benefits.’

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