22 Dec

While the suggestion of a natonal renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 might sound daunting, there's evidence it would actually require decelerating the number of installations and projects in the pipeline.

GEM director Tristan Edis noted “I think most of us had thought a while back that 50 per cent by 2030 would be a pretty massive task for the industry to scale-up to meet,” but it's been found that, rather, “the current scale of construction and installation activity in the renewables sector is actually consistent with achieving something like 78 per cent renewable energy market share.” The numbers bear it out. Their figures find that the annual amount of renewables required to reach Labor's stated target of 50% is 1,850MW. Between January 2017 and October 2018 the amount of industrial-scale projects planned and small-scale rooftop installations completed was 5,150MW. That's 3,300MW more than Labor is aiming at. To hit half renewables as a national RET we would have to see dramatic down-scaling.This fits neatly with the Carbon Tracker Initiatives' analysis of the profitability of 95% of worldwide coal-power capacity. 42% is already unprofitable. And by 2030 that is on track to reach 70%.

They've further established that all major players on the international stage are even now at the point where they stand to save significantly by phasing out coal plants in favour of firmed renewables. China — $USD389 billion. The European Union — $USD89 billion. USA — $USD78 billion. Russian Federation — $USD20 billion.

Matt Gray, senior analyst at Carbon Tracker, put it perfectly: “Lobbying and cronyism, that’s the only thing that can save coal.”

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