Although the current ruling government in Australia has doubled down on coal, the nation is capable of getting all of its electricity needs from renewable sources of energy. After a brief political leadership focused on combating climate change, Australia reverted back to the coal focused political leadership of Tony Abbott.
Australia ranks among the highest nations in the world for per capita greenhouse gas emissions; its energy capacity is mostly made up of fossil fuels, and it is one of the world’s largest exporters of coal. However, the nation’s coal expansion plans may be undermined by shrinking markets in particular China’s efforts to reduce its coal use.
Australia has vast wind and solar energy resources. The Zero Australia Stationary Energy Plan suggests that the nation could employ renewables to furnish all of the nations electricity needs. The paper also offers a strong economic argument for Australia to enact zero emissions renewable energy policies.
There has already been ambitious action from some Australian cities. As part of what is known as the Renewable Energy Master Plan, Sydney has committed to 70 percent greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030. The city plans to get 30 percent of their electricity from renewable sources and 70 percent from ultra-efficient trigeneration (combined cooling, heat and power).
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