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Energy, Environment

EARLY RETIREMENT FOR COAL, RENEWABLES TO MEET ENERGY NEEDS: EXPERT REPORT

Climate Council 2 mins read

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday 15 December 2023

RAPID RENEWABLE ENERGY investment will secure the country’s energy future as polluting coal is phased out, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) latest roadmap.

 

The roadmap was released a day after New South Wales residents were asked to stop using non-essential appliances and turn up the temperature of their air-conditioning units to reduce energy demand amidst blistering heat made worse by climate change.

 

The path AEMO charts to ensure our increasing energy demands are met is clear: state and federal governments need to pick up the pace in delivering renewable energy sources and transmission so we have a clean electricity system that’s fit for purpose. 

 

The roadmap forecasts that all coal-fired power stations will be retired by 2038, five years’ earlier than it had predicted a year ago. 

 

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are already providing 40% of our energy needs. This shows clean energy is picking up more and more of the load as coal fired-generators start to power down.

 

For every dollar spent on the backbone of our electricity grid (transmission infrastructure), two dollars is saved in energy and infrastructure costs. Upgrading our energy system will also create more than 30,000 job opportunities for Australian workers over the next 20 years. 

 

Climate Councillor and environmental economist Tim Nelson said: “The 2024 ISP tells us it is time to leave coal-fired power in the past. Coal-fired power not only contributes to climate change, but it costs more, and is unreliable for consumers. The cheapest way for Australians to have a secure and reliable power grid is to shift to 100% renewable energy sources as soon as possible.

 

“The move to clean energy will create jobs around the country, including in regional Australia. The ISP tells us that 30,000 jobs will be created over the next 20 years. 

 

“Australia is a lucky country. We’ve got some of the best solar and wind resources in the world. It’s a smart play for us to power our country off clean energy.”

ENDS

 

Audio grabs from Dr Tim Nelson are attached to this release and downloadable here, including the quotes above and additional commentary. For interviews please contact the Climate Council media team on media@climatecouncil.org.au or call 0485 863 063.


About us:

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It was founded through community donations in 2013, immediately after the then-Abbott Government dismantled the Climate Commission. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community. For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil

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