The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) released a report on Monday which postulates that we could reach 30% of our electricity requirements through PV solar by 2030. The 2030 Emissions Reduction Climate Change target is to reduce emissions by 26-28% (on 2005 levels) by 2030. If 30% of our energy is met through solar, we should also have a significant amount generated by wind (of the projected ~12GW of renewable energy we will have by end of 2018, 5.4GW of this will be wind power). This should put Australia in the driver’s seat in terms of meeting and even surpassing our emissions targets. Australian solar power is on an exciting and world-leading path.
Australian Solar Power Subsidies from ARENA
According to RenewEconomy, ARENA still has $800m in its budget to help fund renewable energy in Australia. At a function in Melbourne on Monday, ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht discussed how they will help over the next three years and advised that they are currently focusing on four main areas:
- Battery Storage / Grid Stability and Reliability
- Solar PV Innovation
- Raising Energy Productivity
- Exporting Renewable Energy
The main focus of ARENA’s budget will be on storage/grid stability and this is expected to account for around 50% of the remaining $800m over the next three years. Frischknecht was quoted as saying Australia is well on the way to a robust renewable energy economy – citing that our journey towards an “affordable and reliable” renewable energy grid is successful so far.
Frischknecht also discussed the future of solar technology (both panels and storage): “This is the best time ever to be in this industry. It’s the most exciting time. If you look at the changes from 1980-2005 and compare to what has happened since, it is just breathtaking. And it is getting faster.” Noting that 75% of our current energy output is exported (via coal and LNG), he said that ARENA are exploring ‘vectors’ such as hydrogen, ammonia, and commodity refining/export as potential ways for Australia to make a profit from a robust renewable energy platform.