7. 2 Policies and Scenarios for Renewables, Societal and Global Challenges
Summary / Abstract:
Australia is a global renewable energy pathfinder. The purpose of this paper to draw the attention of delegates to the remarkable transition taking place in Australia. Capacity statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency [IRENA] for 2018 and 2019 show that Australia is deploying new renewables 10 times faster per capita than the global average and 4 times faster per capita than in Europe, China, Japan or the USA (Figure 1). In each of the last two years, Australia has been deploying new renewables faster per capita than any other large (population > 1 million) country. According to IRENA, Australia (population 25 million) now has the largest deployment of PV per capita (625 Watts per person) and also the fastest rate of deployment per capita (168 Watts per person per year). The 2nd-5th deployment rates (Watts per person) are Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Belgium. Since Australia sunshine is better than its rivals, Australia is producing over 50% more PV electricity per person than any other country – and this gap is rapidly widening. This is despite the fact that Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquified natural gas and the third largest exporter of uranium. The Australian Government is notable for its unenthusiastic embrace of renewable energy and its weak climate change targets under the Paris agreement.