CleanCo’s chief executive Maia Schweizer said the transition to renewable energy would also mean a massive expansion of the existing electricity grid.
She said industries currently reliant on fossil fuels also contributed significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in Australia and would need to be electrified if Australia was to meet its decarbonisation targets. Those industries included transport and mineral processing.
“The projected impact of this new demand for electricity varies, but conservatively, CleanCo’s modelling shows that demand for electricity will double by 2050,’’ Schweizer said.
“We see this starting already – our global and local customers demand that our products are as green as possible. We also see demand for more electricity as it becomes cheaper and cheaper to run an electric vehicle on solar and wind energy instead of a combustion engine on imported hydrocarbons.
“This is happening faster than many thought – for example, AEMO’s 2020 ‘step change’ forecasts predict 30TWh per annum of new electricity demand for uptake of electric vehicles in Queensland alone. To put this into context, Queensland’s current annual consumption is around 55TWh.
“Based on CleanCo’s analysis about 80 per cent of Queensland’s current carbon emissions could be avoided with technologies that both exist today and are expected to generate savings before 2050.
“That is, they will more than pay back their cost to implement. That makes it an easy choice for all sectors, and even individuals, to take up technologies like electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and renewable electricity generation.’’
“We can get started on 80 per cent of decarbonisation without breaking the bank, and some of the world’s brightest minds are working on the rest.”
Only about 20 per cent of Queensland’s generation capacity was renewbales but the State Government has a goal to reach 50 per cent by 2050.
Schweizer said Queensland had an embarrassment of riches with large areas with high solar irradiance and zones with high wind.
“We are incredibly fortunate that these two sources of renewable energy are complementary with solar farms generating during the day, and the highest average windspeeds occurring overnight.
“Furthermore, the availability of land in strategic locations, our proximity to key export markets and our business and investment environment, all place Queensland in a great position to benefit from the global shift towards renewable energy.
“Specifically, this will help to make our industries of today – and potential industries of the future – globally competitive as our energy becomes cheaper and cleaner.’’Jump to next article