Why is Australia a country to emulate in renewable energy?

The nation is developing a plan to have renewable energy at an extremely fast rate. What could Latin America learn? .

View of the city of Perth in Australia

Australia aspires to reach a 100% renewable electricity system. / Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Por qué Australia es un país para imitar en energías renovables?

Renewable energies are important to combat climate change. The world knows this and is beginning to apply policies that are oriented towards this sector. For example, a study by the Agora Energiewende group revealed that the UK achieved, for the first time, the largest generation of renewable energy, with wind, solar, biomass and hydropower producing 42% of UK energy.

However, there are other countries that have much more important agendas for the long term ... to the point of reaching a 100% renewable electricity system. That is precisely what Australia aspires to, which has the fight against pollution as one of its priorities. Let's see what is important about this environmental policy.

Australia's project with renewable energy

A study by Renewe Economy indicated that Australia's Energy Regulator,  gave the green light to an investment of about  $ 1,500 million for the construction of a new line that allows the transmission of 100% renewable energy between Australia South and New South Wales.

They would do this through the local companies ElectraNet and TransGrid, being a construction that has the projection of reaching 100% clean energy before 2030. This would make Australia become a country that has a totality of electricity without affecting the planet too much.

Also read: Deforestation: a constant threat to Latin America

Basically, it will be a development of some 5,000 megawatts of wind, solar and storage plants at their locations. They not only think about it in local terms, but also in terms of export. Over time, Australia could become a nation that exports clean energy to other states, offsetting the closure of coal plants in places like New South Wales.

In this same sense, the Australian National University indicated that all this will be related to the agreements proposed with Paris in 2025. If the stipulated rates are maintained, the truth is that Australia would reach 50% in that year.

If we take this year into account, emissions from the electricity sector would be reduced by 26%, which implies doing it 4 years earlier than planned for the Paris Agreement. In other words, the oceanic country is being the undisputed leader of renewable energies at the local level, implementing them at a rate of 250W per year per capita.

This means that the speed is about 10 times higher than the world average and 4 times faster than in the European Union, the United States and China. The problem seems to be that Australia does not represent much in world terms, since its 40 gigawatts of renewable energy were only 2% of clean energy in 2019, although in 2020 it increased its capacity by 6.2 gigawatts, growing more than 18 %.

One of the factors that Latin America could take into account is that much of the success that Australia is having is due to the fact that solar collection in the country is simple to do. That is, there are no procedures related to the facilities. By having a light regulatory framework, prices are kept low. For example, residential solar systems are worth about 70 cents per watt in Australia, with one installation, while in the United States that value increases to $ 2.69.

If we take into account that, according to the UN, by 2030 electricity consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean will grow by 80%, this means that it is important to take measures to have renewable energy sources that allow users to become aware of the situation and can implement different systems to help the planet.

In addition, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), doubling the share of renewable energy on a global scale to reach 36% by 2030 would imply an increase in employment for more than 24 million people in the sector. In other words, economic uncertainty is reduced, the planet is helped and climate change is fought.

The key seems to be, then, that favorable political measures are taken in the long term. Australia is the perfect example, which encourages the direct transition to renewable energy with million-dollar investments, but also with facilities for all people who also want to contribute their share of aid to the ecosystem.