Australia’s chief scientist has called for the adoption of a “technology neutral” Clean Energy Target, the staggered “orderly” closure of existing coal and gas plant, and tighter governance of the incumbent power generation sector, as key planks for reform in his major review of Australia’s troubled energy market.
The highly anticipated report – tabled by Alan Finkel on Friday, eight months after it was commissioned following the system black event in South Australia in late September – tackles the key issues of electricity supply cost, security and reliability, as the nation transitions away from fossil fuels and towards distributed renewable energy generation.
And the overriding message from Dr Finkel is clear: “To achieve this…. we need a plan.”
Crucially, says Finkel, this plan must be based on a national emissions reduction trajectory that everyone – Australian, state and territory governments from both sides of the political spectrum – agrees to.
But his modelling, and his policy suite, is based only on the Coaliton’s modest target of a 28 per cent cut in emissions below 2005 levels by 2030, heading towards zero emissions only in the second half of the century (2070).
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