The Morrison government appears to be creeping closer to committing to net zero emissions by 2050 as it comes under increasing interNational pressure on climate policy, said a top energy adviser.
Kerry Schott, head of the government’s Energy Safety Board (ESB), called for National unity in energy policy after the body released a new report that cited differences between Australian governments as aAschallenge” to the electricity market. National.
With 60% of Australia’s coal-fired power plants close to shutting down in the next two decades, Schott also said investors in large-scalrenewablee energy projects needed reassurance that they would not experience congestion when connected to the grid. Electrical.
Australia’s Electrical system has relied heavily on coal. The aging fleet, with a large influx of solar and wind power and a fractured climate policy framework, has presented the electricity market with a major headache.
The ministers of state, territory and federal will consider this year the reforms proposed by the ESB to guarantee that the exit of the coal-fired power plants occurs in an orderly manner. Experts say the National electricity market must beAsfit for purpose” for a future in which power generation is more decentralized and rooftop solar is even more prevalent.
But in an accompanying document on the health of the National electricity market, the ESB said the transitionAswould be less difficult if there was an agreed National path of emission reduction” among the nation’s energy ministers.
When asked if he would support the federal government endorsing net zero by 2050 so that everyone is on the same page, Schott said,AsYes, I would.”
Schott added: “But it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because I think the federal government is under interNational pressure on its emissions target in general, not just the power sector … They’re softening their language and clearly, you know, moving in that direction without really saying it.As
The Morrison government says it is committed to a net zero in the second half of the century, and while it has never explicitly ruled out a goal for 2050, it has argued that it will not do so without specifying costs.
Political pressure has mounted as an increasing number of Australia’s trading partners, including Japan, South Korea and the European Union, have embraced the target, while China has set itself 2060 as the target.
After the US presidential election, when Joe Biden prevailed with a platform that included returning the country to the Paris accord and putting the nation on a course to net zero by 2050, Scott Morrison said he aspired to get there.Asas fast as possible”. The prime minister was unable to speak at a recent summit on climate ambition.
The ESB document notes that all states and territories in the National electricity market have endorsed net zero by 2050.
“What is not agreed between these jurisdictions is the trajectory to achieve their goals, and with each state and territory pursuing its own goal through 2030 and beyond 2050, the governance of NEM operations is an ongoing challenge,” he says. The report.
Schott said statesAswere all going at different speeds,” but needed toAsrecognize that the policies they are making for themselves are having an impact on the entire National electricity market.”
He said the New South Wales Electrical infrastructure roadmap was relatively recent, but Victoria and QueenslandAshave been moving full speed intrenewablees” and that had an impact on neighboring states. Schott called for better coordination between jurisdictions.
Schott also said large-scalrenewablee energy investors needed the confidence that they would notAsspend a few hundred million to install a generator and then discover that they cannot dispatch their power because the grid is congested.”
The ESB report details priorities for post-2025 reforms, including ensuring reliable supply during the energy transition, better demand management, and ensuring tharenewablees connect to the grid.
Schott was optimistic about the opportunities the transition offered to ordinary power consumers, saying that the adoption of rooftop solar was leading to a decentralization of power generation.
“Consumers have always been pretty inert about taking power and paying the bill, and that’s the end of it,” he said.
But these days with rooftop solar power, a lot of people are putting batteries in. Many people will buy electric vehicles. That means people will store energy, and of course they will also be able to export it. So consumers will have the opportunity to have a kind of small smart energy systems in their homes.As
The accompanying board report on the health of the National electricity market shows progress compared to the strategic energy plan agreed at the Australian Council of Governments in 2019.
That plan was designed to ensure that energy remained affordable, reliable and safe as coal plants closed and morrenewablees came online.
“Progress is being made and the outlook is improving over previous years,” the report says.
The main concern continued to be maintaining electricity supply in a market with more variablrenewablee generation. The old coal fleet was also becoming less reliable, according to the report.
Emissions on the market would be 25% lower than 2005 levels by the end of 2020, according to the report. By 2030, this drop will exceed 50%.
The Covid-19 pandemic had also created affordability issues for consumers. Renewable generation had driven prices lower, according to the report, but if aAssmooth transition” is not achieved, prices could rise again.
Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the nation neededAsa coordinated approach to market design to keep the lights on and costs low.”
“The NEM needs to adapt to address reliability, safety and affordability risks, particularly sudden and unexpected thermal generator shutdowns,” Taylor said in a statement.
“We need long-term signals for private sector investment in reliable generation and storage, to replace existing generators with similar capacity.”
The ESB document rules out a proposal from the Grattan Institute that requires coal plants to nominate their own shutdown deadlines and then make ongoing payments to the energy market operator, which are maintained so that compliance can be enforced.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism