Canberra to shift completely to renewable energy by 2025

Australia’s capital has already seen a 400 per cent increase in renewable energy jobs in the past five years

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Monday 24 August 2015

The city aims to achieve 90 per cent reliance on renewable energy in five years (Photo courtesy: Ryan Wick/Wikimedia Commons)

Canberra is set to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025. The Australian capital has already committed to a target of 90 per cent renewable energy within the next five years and has initiated a series of large-scale wind and solar projects, both locally and interstate.

"The commitment I’ll announce in my address to the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Labor Conference today will put the ACT at the global forefront for a response to climate change—building on our current agenda which will see 90 per cent of our energy needs delivered through renewable sources by 2020," said Environment Minister Simon Corbell. "We can do this. We have shown it’s possible—now we have one small step left. 100 per cent renewable energy will drive further jobs growth in our research and corporate sectors." 

The city has already seen a 400 per cent increase in renewable energy jobs in the past five years, and there will be more to come, Corbell said.

The government will continue to divest the ACT investment portfolio of high-carbon emitting companies and sectors—all without costing the Canberra community one cent in lower returns.

Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson was, however, less enthusiastic about the plan. "Well, we are very supportive of renewable energy but the problem is if you go to 100 per cent the cost of that is enormous, what we're going to see is power bills going up through the roof across Canberra,” he said.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
Related Stories

India Environment Portal Resources :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.

  • Excellent.
    Australia is one of the early Renewable Energy Promotion country be it in Solar or Water pumping windmills etc.
    Renewable energy has undergone substantial growth in Australia in the 21st century. It is estimated that Australia produced 29,678 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy electricity (or equivalent) over the year ending December 2012, representing 13.14% of the total production in Australia. By way of comparison, in 2006, approximately 9,500 GWh of electricity came from renewable sources, representing less than 4% of nationally generated electricity.
    Of all renewable electrical energy sources in 2012, hydroelectricity represents 57.8%, wind 26%,bioenergy 8.1%, solar PV 8%, large-scale solar 0.147%, geothermal 0.002% and marine 0.001%; additionally, solar hot water heating is estimated to replace a further 2,422 GWh of electrical generation.
    Similar to many other countries, development of renewable energy in Australia has been encouraged by government policy implemented in response to concerns about climate change, energy independence and economic stimulus. A key policy that has been in place since 2001 to encourage large-scale renewable energy development is a mandatory renewable energy target, which in 2010 was increased to 41,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable generation from power stations. Alongside this there is the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, an uncapped scheme to support rooftop solar power and solar hot water and several State schemes providing feed-in tariffs to encourage photovoltaics. In 2012, these policies were supplemented by a carbon price and a 10 billion-dollar fund to finance renewable energy projects, although these initiatives have since been withdrawn by the Abbott Government.
    It has been suggested that with sufficient public and private sector investment and government policy certainty, Australia could switch entirely to renewable energy within a decade by building additional large-scale solar and wind power developments, upgrading to transmission infrastructure and introduction of appropriate energy efficiency measures.

    Hydrogen is a special case The inquiry includes hydrogen in its terms of reference. Hydrogen is not in itself a form of renewable energy. It is analogous to the electricity generated from a renewable energy source in that, like electricity, it can act as a medium for transmitting and utilising that energy. However, unlike electricity it is also a chemical substance that can be physically stored, transported and dispensed. In those respects, it resembles the more familiar gaseous and liquid fuels of today. Hydrogen can be produced with electricity by the process of electrolysis and its greenhouse impact is essentially that of the electricity source. A renewable or nuclear energy source will produce hydrogen with a correspondingly low greenhouse impact. Hydrogen can be burnt in a heat engine (like an internal combustion engine), or converted back into electricity in a fuel cell, essentially a kind of battery, and its combustion product is water. Herein lies its appeal as a transport fuel for either conventional motor driven vehicles or electric vehicles. Hydrogen has a quite different role in clean coal processes that involve carbon capture and storage. Here hydrogen happens to be an intermediary in pre-combustion gasification processes designed to separate out a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide suitable for disposal by underground storage. The hydrogen stream emanating from this process then goes to a conventional turbine for generating electricity. All of this happens in the one processing plant, so the issues of storage, transport etc associated with hydrogen do not arise. Hydrogen could in principle be taken from such processes for use in the 'hydrogen economy' but it would need considerable further purification to prepare it for use in a fuel cell. It is fair to say that the future role of a 'hydrogen economy' is contentious. Nevertheless, there is much advocacy of a 'hydrogen economy' that exploits hydrogen's special place as a clean combustible transport fuel that can be synthesised using renewable or nuclear power. Government support for hydrogen projects needs to distinguish between 'clean coal' and 'hydrogen economy' prospects. The evaluation criteria will be different but the general requirement for market signals from investing customers should still apply to both cases.
    Biofuel in Australia is available both as biodiesel and as ethanol fuel, which can be produced from sugarcane, sorghum or grains. There are currently three commercial producers of fuel ethanol in Australia, all on the East Coast.
    Legislation imposes a 10% cap on the concentration of fuel ethanol blends, except those marketed as having a higher concentration such as E85. Blends of 90% unleaded petrol and 10% fuel ethanol are commonly referred to as E10, which is available through service stations operating under the BP, Caltex, Shell and United brands as well as those of a number of smaller independents. Not surprisingly, E10 is most widely available closer to the sources of production in Queensland and New South Wales. The Australian Government has set a target for the sale of 350 million litres of E10 fuel each year by 2010.
    RecentlyBP Australia celebrated a milestone with over 100 million litres of the new BP Unleaded with renewable ethanol being sold to Queensland motorists. In partnership with the Queensland Government, the Cane growers organisation launched a regional billboard campaign in March 2007 to promote the renewable fuels industry.[1]
    Australia is drafting new biodiesel legislation in 2008.
    Caltex markets a B2 biodiesel blend suitable for all vehicles since 2006 and a B5 biodiesel blend following trials in 2005.
    In 2014 the average total annual production of biofuels in Australia is approximately 800 million litres. This includes new ventures into biodiesel and algae-based biofuels. The cultivation of West African oil palms in the South East Asian jungles was first tabled by Australian botanists in the 1930s, but only in recent decades has there been cultivation of West African oil palms in South East Asian jungles. It is hoped that there will be robotic cultivation of these oil palms and that they will be used to make biofuels(Wikipedia).

    Research is on on use of care-free growth,regenerative CAM Plants like Agave for Biofuel.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)

    Posted by: Anumakonda Jagadeesh | 4 years ago | Reply