Politics

New tech, customer preferences to get Australia to net zero by 2050: government modelling


The Federal Government has released its plan for Australia to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The 100-page document details the modelling involved to get Australia to a carbon neutral point in the next 29 years.

“A central role is played by low emissions electricity and electrification of road transport,” the plan states.

Solar power will account for most of the electricity in Australia by 2050, the modelling shows.
Solar power will account for most of the electricity in Australia by 2050, the modelling shows. (Dorothy Woodgate)

“Electricity and transport are projected to substantially decarbonise, even under current trends.”

But much of the plan is reliant on predictions of what technology that does not exist yet will do to carbon emissions.

It also carries the assumption that consumers will increasingly opt for low-carbon options as time goes on, without the impact of government intervention.

A large proportion of the “net zero” target uses emissions trading with other countries to offset carbon pollution in Australia.

Energy and Industry Minister Angus Taylor touted the benefits of the plan.

“The modelling shows that a clear focus on driving down technology costs will enable Australia to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 without putting industries, regions or jobs at risk,” he said in a statement.

“The modelling shows that Australians will be nearly $2000 better off on average in 2050 under our Plan, relative to no action, with more than 62,000 new regional mining and heavy industry jobs created by 2050.”

Wind power is expected to play a much larger role in Australia's energy section by 2050.
Wind power is expected to play a much larger role in Australia’s energy section by 2050. (Bloomberg)

The modelling projects that because of shifts in international demand, coal production will halve by 2050 in Australia.

But an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 new jobs will be created in the energy sector. It also projects electricity bills will be lower by 2050.

Under the plan, solar will account for the bulk of power generation in Australia, with a dramatic increase in wind power as well.

climate change
Coal power generation will drop to almost zero by 2050, the plan assumes. (Bloomberg)

Coal generation will be at close to zero.

Petrol-powered cars will also be largely obsolete by 2050, with fully-electric cars accounting for nearly every vehicle on the road.

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