The energy community continues to face major challenges as the world grapples with the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has caused economies throughout the globe to experience slower than expected growth, energy markets to stall, oil prices – and the global stock market – to crash; while the lack of a tested vaccine is stalling human activity around the world. In this blog our experts look at what the pandemic has taught us about the world energy community’s resilience, especially focusing on what we can learn from Australia.
Australia currently contributes approximately 1.5% of the world’s total carbon emissions. Even before Covid-19 Australia was having a difficult year; the country’s recent bushfires made headlines across the globe, causing an estimated AUS$100 billion of damage and decimating 18 million hectares of bush. As the country rallied during the bushfires, climate change understandably became the country’s most pressing issue.
Clean Energy Council CEO, Kane Thornton has commented about how the Council has been lobbying federal, state and territory governments since the spring to ensure that renewable energy and energy storage is a key part of their COVID-19 response packages.
Things looked favourable as the Australian state of Queensland in March pledged to establish an AUD$500m fund for renewable energy development with plans to create up to 16GW of clean energy generation.
The use of renewables is increasing in Australia. 2019 was a milestone year with almost a quarter of all generated electricity coming from renewable sources. The construction of 34 new large-scale renewable energy projects were completed last year, this added 2.2GW of clean energy to the country’s grid. This equates to approximately AUD$4.3 billion worth of investment and the creation of in excess of 4,000 new jobs.
Last month saw Queensland announce plans for three renewable energy zones. If they come to fruition these plans have the potential to generate up to 16GW of renewable energy, while also creating potentially thousands of new job opportunities. The zones will work with local industry, and will include hydrogen production, biofuels, and mineral extraction to explore energy generation and distribution opportunities.
GlobalData power analyst, Somik Das predicts that Australia will see the world’s fastest energy transition. The current pipeline of renewable generation projects could generate 102GW when completed. Das said: “The government has put the final nail in the coffin for coal-fired power plants, having no plans to continue coal and gas generators beyond the planned retirement dates.”
Australia has seen first-hand the devastating effects of climate change. The worldwide community needs to take note and ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t stop it from seeing the bigger picture. Australia has seen what nature can do and has taken steps.
If you’d like to speak to one of our experts about the sensible next steps for your company to become more resilient get in touch.