Australia to reach 50% renewables by 2030, despite Coalition scare campaign

Booming rooftop solar uptake and a big pipeline of large-scale wind and solar project are likely to deliver 50 per cent renewables for Australia by 2030, despite the Coalition’s policy vacuum, a new report has found.

The Reputex modelling contradicts one of the Coalition government’s favourite scare campaigns, that Labor’s 50 per cent renewables target by 2030 would ruin the economy and push up prices.

Reputex says that target will likely be reached anyway, with no change to federal energy policy, underpinned by around 19GW of new renewable capacity and the big surge rooftop solar installations.

But the Coalition’s lack of clear energy policy won’t be so benign when it comes to power prices. While average wholesale electricity prices are currently headed down to around $70/MWh by 2021, this renewables-driven reprieve could be short lived, the report warns.

Prices could rebound to more than $100/MWh, and even peak at $130/MWh in the mid 2030s, because the Coalition’s policy vacuum would fail to encourage enough new generation to replace the existing thermal plant.

“Under current policy we see around 11GW of new large-scale wind and solar entering the system by 2030, underpinned by the Queensland and Victorian renewable energy targets, along with a further 8GW of new rooftop solar installations”, said RepuTex head of research, Bret Harper.

“(But) without a plan to prepare for the exit of fossil fuel generation we forecast a return to a boom-bust investment cycle, with elevated wholesale prices and increased volatility, rather than a more orderly transition” he said.
Giles Parkinson


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