New modelling from the Greens has found Western Australia’s south west grid could be powered with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, would be cheaper than business as usual and still deliver thousands of jobs to urgently mitigate the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy 2030 modelled two scenarios for the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), which found it was technically possible to achieve a 100 per cent renewably-powered grid through a mix of solar PV, wind, solar thermal, biomass and battery storage without raising the cost of power bills.
Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam said Energy 2030 exposed the Barnett government comprehensive failure to take action on climate change, with no plan or vision to transition to a renewable energy state.
“Under Colin Barnett’s head in the sand approach to climate change, our greenhouse emissions keep pushing higher,” he said.
“In his time we have seen the commencement of the Pluto and Gorgon LNG hubs adding a further 10 million tones of carbon into the air, which is in contravention to the Paris Agreement.
“This state has suffered under a serious lack of leadership on renewable energy, starting with Barnett scrapping the Climate Change Unit in 2013.
“That’s why we will call on whoever wins the election to establish a new government authority called Renew Western Australia, to get us back on track.”
Greens candidate Tim Clifford said Energy 2030 would create 156,000 jobs in the industry, through construction, installation and ongoing maintenance.
“Our modeling found that 12,000 jobs would be created each year, to build the infrastructure needed and provide ongoing maintenance to deliver 100 per cent renewable energy until 2030.
“This is higher than the number of people employed at the height of WA’s mining boom of 127,221 including construction, extraction, exploration, operations, administration and maintenance."
The Energy 2030 Plan
1. Provides a roadmap to reach 100% renewable electricity on the South West Grid by 2030 and illustrates two costed scenarios to get there.
2. Establishes a new government authority called Renew Western Australia to drive the transition, responsible for planning and leveraging $500 million of investment into construction of new energy generation over the next four years in WA;
3. Support workers as we transition away from fossil fuels through a $100m Clean Energy Transition Fund to ensure coal workers and communities are not left behind, with $6.6m each year for direct training and reskilling programs and investment for new businesses;
4. Introduce a staged Phase out Plan based on new state based emissions and pollution intensity standards, to enable the orderly and stable closure of our dirtiest coal and gas-fired power stations, and a fair transition for all.
- 9% of WA’s power comes from renewable sources,
- WA’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 8% since 2010 to 86 million tonnes of CO2e per year
- The Paris agreement sets out a global action plan limit on global warming to well below 2C
- The move to 100% renewable power creates 151,000 – 156,000 jobs to 2030 or about 12,000 new jobs each year
- Our study found it would in fact be cheaper than business as usual, when a carbon price of $30/tCo2 was added and surplus generation is sold at $30/MWh
- Approximately 500MW a year in new renewable capacity is added to the grid as we power down our most polluting and inefficient fossil power generators.