Australia's new record for renewable energy generation shows the needs to act urgently to "win the global decarbonisation race" - and invest in the means to do so, Wollongong engineer Saul Griffith said.
Latest figures show almost 35 per cent of energy generated in Australia from October 1 to December 31 last year was from renewables, outpacing the previous quarter to set the new record.
National Energy Market average renewable share reached 34.9 per cent of total generation during the quarter, up from 31.6 per cent in the third quarter 2021, the latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) found.
And in the half-hour leading to 11.30pm, renewables reached the highest share of total generation at 61.8 per cent, also slightly beating the previous record.
Dr Griffith, founder and chief scientist of the Rewire Australia electrification project, said the boom in rooftop solar installations - plus large scale wind and solar farms - caused the record.
He said it demonstrates the urgent need for Australia to fully exploit its global lead in rooftop solar by "rewiring" households to be fully electric.
"That clean energy needs to heat our water, cool our homes, power our cars and cook our food to fully take advantage of our lead," he said.
"If we decarbonise our homes and cars we will all be wealthier and enjoy the benefits of cleaner air. A fully electric Australia that gets off fossil fuels will keep the same comforts but use about half the energy, with none of the energy emissions. This win-win from electrification is clear.
"With just a little foresight, Australia can lead the world in fully electrifying our homes and then export that technology and expertise to the world. But this won't happen by itself. We need to make it really straightforward for households to swap a fossil fueled appliance or vehicle with one powered by clean energy."
Dr Griffith is a former steelworker from Sydney who moved to the USA to further his studies. After starting up several successful renewables and innovation companies, he became an energy adviser to the Biden campaign, now Administration.
He has since moved back to Australia, living in the northern suburbs of Wollongong, and is launching his vision to electrify everything in Australia with a new book The Big Switch this month.
"We should change our planning and permitting laws to prioritise all electric households and businesses, and start training the installation and maintenance workforce for this electrified future now," he said.
"With modest public investment in our homes, cars, and communities, we can electrify everything without sacrificing our way of life. If we embrace this shift now, we can enjoy cheaper, cleaner, healthier energy, and win the global decarbonisation race."
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