Green Path tries to keep up with what’s happening in the renewable energy sphere, since it’s so important to our battle against global warming, but so much is happening that we don’t often pause to take stock. Fortunately, the Climate Council has done that for us, producing a report, Fully Charged: Renewables and Storage Powering Australia.
Its key points are:
- The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 80% since 2010. Costs are expected to halve again by 2025 (under 7 years).
- 6,750 new household batteries were installed in 2016. The market is predicted to have tripled in size in 2017, with over 20,000 new installations.
- Renewable energy now represents 16% of Australia’s electricity generation.
- VIC, QLD and the NT are also investing in grid scale battery storage technology.
- Federal, QLD and TAS governments are also considering developing pumped hydro projects.
- The Australian electricity grid (NEM) and old fossil fuelled power stations are increasingly vulnerable to worsening extreme weather events, particularly as these power stations age.
- More than 50% of Australia’s coal fleet will be over 40 years old by 2030.
- Australia could reach 50% renewables by 2030 without significant new energy storage.
That is (nearly) all very good news, of course, but we need to keep it in perspective: 50% by 2030 is good but, globally, we need to reach zero carbon emissions before 2050 to avoid the worst of climate change, so there is still much more to be done.
The full report is available as a pdf file from the Climate Council here and is warmly recommended.