Climate Council report finds states and territories leading renewable energy push

The Climate Council has released a report which concludes that the states are the driving force behind Australia’s transition to renewable energy and storage technology.

The report, ‘Renewables Ready: States Leading the Charge,’ shows South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory are all leading the renewables race, while the Federal Government is relying on the states and territories to meet national emissions reduction targets.

The report compares states and territories across a range of renewable energy metrics and outlines progress for each state and territory government over the last twelve months in terms of renewable energy growth and policy, as well as their position on fossil fuels.

Its key findings are:

  • States and territories are driving the Australian energy transition in the absence of Federal policy.

  • In the last year state and territory governments have increased commitments to renewable power, including sources providing 24/7 power. In the last year Victoria (40% by 2025), the Northern Territory (50% by 2030) and Tasmania (100% by 2022) have put in place new renewable energy targets, and New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria have all adopted targets for net zero emissions by 2050. Western Australia is now the only state or territory in Australia without a target for renewable energy or net zero emissions.

  • New South Wales and Queensland are set for a significant increase in renewable energy, based on large-scale wind and solar plants under construction in 2017

  • Queensland, South Australian and Western Australian households continue to lead in the proportion of homes with rooftop solar.

  • Energy storage is increasingly coming to the fore as part of state and territory energy policy. This includes plans for battery storage in the NT, ACT, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, and the Federal Government's proposed Snowy 2.0 expansion project.

The report found that State and territory targets, plus existing and announced coal closures (such as Liddell Power Station) are expected to deliver the Federal government’s 2030 emissions reduction target of 26-28% reduction on 2005 levels, even without any action from the Federal Government.

The report is available here.

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