NSW set to fall short of climate targets but Victoria on track

Source: The Age

4 July 2019

NSW and Queensland appear set to fall short of their self-imposed targets for cutting greenhouse gas pollution and phasing out fossil fuels, as responsibility for climate action in the electricity sector increasingly falls to the states.

But analysis by research and advisory group Green Energy Markets found Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania are on track to hit their climate goals.

Electricity is considered the most cost-effective sector of the economy in which to slash greenhouse gas pollution, largely because zero-emission wind and solar technology already exists.

However, Australia’s renewable energy target peaks in 2020 and since the collapse of the National Energy Guarantee last year, the Morrison government has not had a major policy to cut emissions in the sector. This leaves state policies as the key driver of investment in renewable energy generation.

Green Energy Markets examined progress on climate targets by the five eastern-most states that make up the national electricity market.

It found the most populous state, NSW, was not on pace to meet its target of net-zero emissions from the electricity sector by 2050.

On current trends, renewables would comprise 28 per cent of NSW’s total electricity use by 2030, based on expected rooftop solar uptake and new wind and solar projects. This was well below the 46 per cent renewables share needed by 2030 if NSW was to meet its 2050 target, the report said.

NSW needs almost 5000 megawatts of new renewable energy projects over the next decade to bridge the gap.

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