A clean energy package will have a zero pollution outcome compared with 40m tonnes under Coalition’s plan to extend the NSW plant, UTS modelling reveals
Replacing the Liddell coal power station with clean energy technologies would slash pollution and be at least $1.3bn cheaper than the Turnbull government’s plan to extend the life of the New South Wales plant by five years, a new analysis has found.
A second report released on Monday also found Australia has the potential to lead the world in developing large and home-scale energy storage systems if public uncertainty can be overcome.
Both reports will give the Coag energy council food for thought when it meets in Hobart on Friday to discuss the federal government’s national energy guarantee.
Modelling by the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, commissioned for the Australian Conservation Foundation, found a clean energy package including battery storage, solar thermal and bioenergy, would have a zero pollution outcome compared with 40m tonnes of pollution by extending Liddell.
The foundation’s CEO, Kelly O’Shanassy, said keeping Liddell open beyond 2022 would be bad for the climate and Australia’s ability to achieve its Paris targets.
She said the results show Australia’s elected representatives are holding back the country.
“Australia desperately needs a comprehensive climate change policy that will facilitate the rapid transition to a clean energy future,” O’Shanassy said.
A report by the Australian Council of Learned Academies also warned that without proper planning and investment in energy storage, electricity costs in Australia would continue to rise and electricity supply would become less reliable.
The report found while the public has some awareness of energy storage, such as batteries and pumped hydro, it has very limited knowledge of other emerging technologies such as renewable hydrogen.
There is also a reluctance from consumers to install batteries at home for perceived safety reasons.
“This report clearly shows the two sides of the coin – that energy storage is an enormous opportunity for Australia, but there is work to be done to build consumer confidence,” the council’s expert working group chair Bruce Godfrey said.
“The best way to change attitudes is to increase understanding about energy storage.”
Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, said given Australia’s natural resources and technical expertise, energy storage could represent a major new export industry for the nation.
“Energy storage is an opportunity to capitalise on our research strengths, culture of innovation and abundant natural resources,” Finkel said.
“We have great advantages in the rapidly expanding field of lithium production and the emerging field of renewable hydrogen with export opportunities to Asia.”
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