Coal provides 50% of Australia’s registered capacity and 76% of its energy output. Australia’s coal fired power stations are aging and many are due for replacement. Currently over 75% of coal fired power stations are operating beyond their planned life span. Intelligently deployed renewable energy is the most cost effective and practical method of replacing retiring coal fired power stations. Transitioning to renewable energy isn’t just good for our quality of life, it’s also good for economic growth.
According to projections, the power sector, dominated by renewables and network infrastructure is expected to account for the majority of energy investment over the next 20 years. In these scenarios, coal accounts for only 1-2% of future investment.
Virtually all energy projects developed in Australia are now using renewable, carbon free resources. For the 5 years to March 2017, of the 2000 MW added to the network, 92% was renewable power (80% wind 12% solar).
Requirements to reduce the carbon emissions (electricity is 1/3 of Australia’s output) means a reduction in coal fired generation. 22,000MW from coal requires replacement by 2050 to maintain Australia’s demand curve as coal fired power stations are retired due to economic and environmental criteria.
Australia has a demonstrated wind and solar resource of 5054 exajoules – this is only 4% of Australia’s total renewable energy resource yet is 75% greater than all of Australia’s coal, gas, oil and uranium resources combined.
Australia’s Coal- Fired Power Plants are aging and retiring
Source: Australian Energy Regulator, 2018
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