Meeting Australia's Paris greenhouse commitment at zero net cost
Fig. 1. Comparison of costs for future generation mixes. Click here for a larger image.
Australia is currently installing new wind and photovoltaics (PV) at a rate of 3 GW per year.
If this rate continues to 2030, the new decarbonised infrastructure will meet more than half of
Australia's total electricity supply, and will deliver all of our Paris greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
The costs of wind and PV have dropped down to the point where this clean energy system could be delivered at net zero cost,
compared with new build coal. This price includes the cost to balance intermittent sources of electricity –
this is made up of transmission infrastructure and energy storage.
Snowy 2.0 provides half the storage needed to balance the renewables – which would make up 67% of the total
The Paris reduction target could also be met by transitioning from our current generation mix to
gas generators, but this move would increase demand for gas, and impact prices. At current wholesale
gas prices, this option would be significantly more expensive than the status quo or renewables scenarios.