The Australian government recently published an energy white paper saying that Australia could draw 40% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2035. The amount would increase to 85% by 2050. Such a shift in energy paradigm would eliminate every coal-fired power plant in the country.
The white paper was launched by the infamous Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson. He and the rest of the Australian Government did not approve of the 40% to 50% increase in average electricity prices over the last four years. “Simply not sustainable,” the paper stated.
Instead, the paper brought up natural gas and solar energy as alternative means of energy. Australia was already investing in those energy sources.
The Australian government expressed its intention to switch from coal-based energy to renewable forms of energy. It also discussed its strategies to develop natural gas and renewable forms of energy in the coming decades.
According to the paper, the government would need to invest a total of A$200 billion into the new power stations and infrastructure that would replace the current coal-dependent energy paradigm. This included A$50–60 billion to be spent on developing natural gas and A$100 billion that will be set aside for renewable energy sources.
The government is also considering to reduce the peak power demand through smart power demand management using smart meters, smart appliances, and other tools. For example, the recently-developed Energy Matters Power Monitor manages the energy consumption of the growing number of households that invested in a solar panel system.
The previous decade had witnessed Australia achieve significant developments in the renewable energy sector. However, natural gas remained the primary energy focus for the future. In the Melbourne launch of the paper, Minister Ferguson said he supports the funding of export terminals that will make Australia one of the largest gas markets in the world.
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