Massive Renewable Energy Needed to Make Australia a Net Zero Economy by 2050 – Study

Solar system installer Thomas Bywater aligns new solar panels on the roof of a house in Sydney, 19 August 2009. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/File Photo

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – For the Australian economy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Australia must invest in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage at unprecedented speed and scale. No more, a model unveiled Thursday showed.

The Net Zero Australia project requires the country to exceed the total generation of its current domestic electricity market, including 1,900 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV and 174 GW of onshore and offshore wind capacity, to reach this target by 2050. It turned out to require about 40 times the capacity.

That level of capacity would require five areas in northern Australia roughly the size of Ireland to house solar arrays teamed with electrolyzers to produce green hydrogen for export. , the project revealed in the interim findings of a study due to be completed in 2023.

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The project is a partnership with the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland, Princeton University, and management consultancy Nous Group, Worley Group (WOR.AX), APA Group (APA.AX), billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation supported by sponsors such as

“Our findings show that there are no two ways Australia must transform to reach net zero by 2050.

“New renewable power generation, transmission, hydrogen supply chains, etc. require large-scale, long-term investments,” he said.

The scale of the investment envisioned is much larger than outlined by Australian energy market operators, even for a hydrogen superpower scenario of around seven times current grid more

The project says that replacing coal and gas sales in Australia, two of the country’s largest exporters, with clean energy exports will require an eight to 15-fold increase in power generation by 2050 compared to today. has discovered.

Green hydrogen, green ammonia and cable electricity could replace coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. This is important for a country that is one of the world’s leading coal and LNG exporters.

“If energy exports remain at current levels, we will have significant export revenues and one million new Australian jobs,” Mr Batterham said in a statement.

In five of the scenarios, natural gas and petroleum products are still seen to play an important role, but with carbon capture and storage.

Over the next year, the project will delve into land issues, water supply and traditional owner concerns, and consider potential obstacles to rapid growth and transmission of solar and wind farms. said Michael Brear, one of the study’s authors.

($1 = 1.4339 Australian Dollar)

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Reported by Sonali Poll.Edited by Ana Nicolati da Costa

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