The falling costs of carbon-free technologies such as wind energy and solar power could help Australia generate 100 percent of its power by renewable energy resources by 2050, a new report revealed on Tuesday.
Research by the Australian National University (ANU) said a fully green-powered society was possible if there were clear and stable national policy settings to support investment in renewable resources.
Australia is currently committed to cutting carbon emissions by 5 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and the government is expected to set post-2020 emissions reduction targets in June. However, Australia has recently been criticized by UN members for setting low targets.
High costs associated with moving away from fossil fuels has been seen as an obstacle, however, the ANU report said Australia could make a low-cost transition because previous cost estimates were higher than they actually are.
“For example, large-scale solar panel power stations are already only half the cost that the Treasury’s 2008 and 2011 modelling studies estimated they would be in the year 2030,” the report said.
The report’s author, ANU associate professor Frank Jotzo, said greener energy sources could be achieved at low cost.
“With our abundant renewable resources we are one of the best placed countries in the world for moving to a fully renewable electricity supply,” he said.
“Australia can achieve zero net emissions by harnessing energy efficiency, moving to a zero-carbon electricity system, switching from direct use of fossil fuels to decarbonised electricity and improving industrial processes.”