Australia has announced plans to build renewable energy projects, offshore wind farms and undersea transmission cables, as part of its efforts to cut carbon emissions by 43% by 2030.
Australia’s center-left government has said its renewable power will help “rewire” the power grid.
According to the government’s statement, the plan includes the “rapid” development of the offshore wind industry in the state of Victoria. Underwater electricity interconnector between Victoria and neighboring New South Wales will also be upgraded.
The federal government will also help fund a cable — known as Marinus Link— that shares power between the island state of Tasmania and the Australian mainland. The interconnector is expected to boost energy reliability.
Currently, hydro power accounts for 80% of the power generation in Tasmania.
“Tasmania, which is currently at 100% renewables, will now have the opportunity to get to 200% renewables and share that extra capacity with the mainland, which is good for Tasmania, thousands of jobs to be created and good for the mainland because it improves our energy reliability and, of course, reduces emissions,” Federal Minister Chris Bowen for Climate Change and Energy said.
Australia’s electricity mainly relies on coal and gas. The nation, with 25 million people, has been one of the world’s worst per capita emitters of greenhouse pollution.
But there is an undeniable shift away from fossil fuels.
Australia’s renewable energy sector is growing. In 2021, it accounted for 32.5% of the country’s total electricity generation, an increase of almost 5% compared to 2020, according to the Clean Energy Council, a non-profit industry body.
Australia’s renewable energy mix includes large-scale hydropower facilities and wind farms, with solar making up the largest portion of renewable energy sources.
CSIRO, the government research agency, has said wave energy could contribute up to 11% of Australia's electricity demand, enough to power a city the size of Melbourne by 2050.