While the government is in denial, the states are making staggering progress on renewable energy

(The Guardian, 2 Jul 2019) State governments seem frustrated with the Coalition – but we are closer to 100% renewables than you think.

Shortly after its re-election, the Morrison federal government confirmed it would not consider a new policy to reduce carbon emissions from Australia’s electricity sector.

Meanwhile, every state government within the national electricity market has either a target to increase the share of renewable energy or substantially reduce its emissions. This includes both Labor and Liberal party-governed states.

So how are the states going in reaching their targets?

Victoria at least is doing pretty well. The chart below illustrates the amount of renewable energy being generated in Victoria by fuel type and Green Energy Markets’ projections of how it will change out to 2030. This is based on a combination of large utility-scale projects either in operation, construction or contracted plus growth in rooftop solar expected by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Victoria will achieve dramatic growth in renewable generation in just the next two years so renewables will generate a third of supply. By 2025 Victoria will have almost achieved its interim target of 40% renewables, even without any new wind or solar farms beyond those already committed or contracted. However, to get to 50% by 2030 the Victorian government needs roughly another 2,000 megawatts of projects.

That shouldn’t be hard to achieve. Last year it completed a tender to contract 650 megawatts of projects which actually ended up delivering 928 megawatts of projects. During that tender it received proposals for over 3500MW of projects. So just another two tender rounds could be enough to get Victoria to 50% renewables.

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The Guardian, 2 Jul 2019: While the government is in denial, the states are making staggering progress on renewable energy