Australian Greens set out 90% renewables by 2030 plan

While Australia’s political support for renewables has been uneven since the election of the conservative coalition government in 2013, the Greens party has proposed an ambitious plan to see renewables supply the country with 90% of electricity by 2030. Details as to what support programs will be provided to rooftop solar under the plan, it sets out an ambitious growth trajectory for the sector, seeing it as a key tenant in the democratization of Australia’s electricity supply.

The Greens’ “RenewAustralia: Powering the new economy” plan was unveiled on Sunday, and it includes four key policy measures. These include: a goal of 90% for renewable energy penetration by 2030; the creation of a new AU$500 million agency, RenewAustralia, to plan the transition to renewables and to tender for AU$5 billion in projects; the creation of a AU$250 million Clean Energy Transition Fund, to assist communities dependent on coal mining; and the implementation of pollution intensity standards for existing generation sources.

The Greens have set out two scenarios by which the 90% renewable energy penetration can be realized.

Scenario 1

129GWh – publically owned renewables under a RenewAustralia tender;

100,000GWh – reverse auction Contracts for Difference (CfD) program;

Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (RET) increased to 52,500Gwh;

Rooftop solar to reach 25,800GWh;

And pre-existing hydro 16,00GWh.

Scenario 2

150,000GWh reverse auction CfDs;

RenewAustralia tender 65,000 GWh;

Large-scale RET of 52,500GWh;

And enhanced rooftop PV support to deliver 29,00GWh residential capacity, 10,700GWh commercial and industrial rooftop totaling 39,700GWh rooftop PV by 2030.

“While a detailed policy to encourage solar on the rooves [sic.] of homes and businesses across Australia will be released at a later date, our pathway has rooftop solar growing from 5,884 GWh of power today, to between 25,800 GWh and 39,700 GWh by 2030,” states the Greens RenewAustralia plan.

“When all types of homes and busiensses are able to generate and trade their own power, the democratization of our energy system will be unstoppable, jobs will be created and energy bills will be slashed for households everywhere, from public housing tenants, to renters, to apartment dwellers.”

The proposed RenewAustralia body would work alongside the existing Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which have both survived attempts to have them abolished by the current government.

Earlier this year the Australian opposition Labor party came out in support of a 50% renewable energy goal by 2030.

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