The market operator has called for work to start immediately on upgrading the electricity grid’s transition to renewables and transition off fossil fuel by 2050.
What does the plan say?
Solar panels at solar farm on the northern outskirts of Canberra. Source: AAP / MICK TSIKAS
The market operator estimates more than two thirds of individual homes and businesses will install solar panels – up from about 30 per cent now.
The regulator says this demand is why investment is needed to treble the firming capacity provided by new low-emission alternatives.
“What this means is we will see a rapid exit of particularly coal fired power stations over the next decade or so and their replacement by wind and solar energy.”
In a statement, Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the AEMO’s report had confirmed the national energy market “urgently needs investment in transmission and planning to ensure reliability and affordability through this change.”
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen says the energy market needs urgent investment. Source: AAP / BIANCA DE MARCHI/AAPIMAGE
He pointed to his government’s planned $20 billion spend under its Rewiring the Nation plan to modernise the electricity grid as investment “designed to provide necessary low-cost financing for the urgent upgrade and build out of the grid.”
“This will happen by basically electrifying the entire economy and turning the electricity generation itself from [mainly] fossil fuels to dominantly renewable energy.”