Australia has world-beating renewable energy resources, and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to capitalise on them. But we need to move fast if we’re going to harness the jobs and prosperity which renewables can bring.
Beyond Zero Emissions’ Renewable Energy Superpower report found Australia is blessed with some of the best renewable energy resources in the world including enough sun and the wind to power the entire world for ten years.
These resources are not only close to transmission lines, but also cost competitive with coal and gas.
Australia can take advantage of this plentiful and cheap electricity to power existing industries and attract new energy intensive ones looking for a competitive advantage.
New technologies are available which enable cement, steel, paper, food and other commodities to be produced without using fossil fuels.
While twenty-one per cent of Australia’s emissions come from industry, this sector has so far escaped scrutiny from our politicians. But without addressing these emissions we stand little chance of achieving our Paris climate commitments.
Australia is capable of rapid infrastructure investment. More than $200 billion was spent on gas infrastructure in less than ten years, similar to the amount needed to fund the shift to 100 per cent renewables energy in the same period.
Imagine how different things would be for homes and businesses - not to mention politics - if we had the foresight in 2007 to encourage a $200 billion investment into renewable energy.
The global move has already started. The time has come to let go of the past and embrace the opportunities a renewable energy superpower, like Australia, has to offer.
Vanessa Petrie is CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions