A new study by The Australian National University (ANU) has found Australia can easily meet its 2030 carbon emissions target by replacing coal-fired power stations with renewables at zero net cost.
At the global climate talks in Paris two years ago, Australia pledged to reduce emissions by 26–28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
Lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers said the net cost to meet this target with renewables was zero because the cost of electricity from new-build wind and solar power generators was below the cost of electricity from new-build fossil fuel generators. “The cost of renewables includes stabilising the electricity grid with energy storage and stronger interstate powerlines to ensure that the grid continues to be reliable,” said Professor Blakers from the ANU Research School of Engineering.
Site searching and development of a PHES cost model are being explored as part of an ARENA funded project.
The report is available on this site, as is a press release summarising the work.
The figure above shows a comparison of costs for future generation mixes.