Renewable energy currently makes up 17% of Australia’s electricity generation as the country is highly investing in wind and solar power to reduce its reliance on coal to produce electricity. Solar photovoltaic and wine power are in fact rapidly becoming cheaper and more efficient and are on track to entirely supplant fossil fuels worldwide within two decades. Australia is largely investing in renewable energy, as about 80% of its current greenhouse gas emissions are due to the use of coal, oil and gas, typical of industrialized countries. In order to curtail global warming, these large industrialized countries need to be the first to set an example and replace fossil fuel use entirely with energy sources that produce low or zero greenhouse gas emissions, minimal security concerns in respect of welfare, terrorism and work accidents and are already available in mass production.
As Australia’s economy has long avoided a technical recession since 1991 and has seen an unusually long period of growth, the country has been impacted by an incredible population boom, up to 50% during nearly the same period. As a result of these two phenomena the country has been suffering from an abundant consumption of water, a precious resource in a country where droughts are a common occurrence. Deemed a water-stressed country, Australia can no longer afford to use coal as its main source of energy as fuel consumes too much water to produce electricity and is therefore moving towards the use of wind and solar power as viable alternatives. As these renewable sources do not consume water to produce electricity they meet the country’s increased demand for electricity without adding carbon emissions or consuming water. Australia is already making way for large-scale renewable projects and as of 2018 there are more than a dozen wind farm projects underway and 21 big solar projects under construction.
A lot of renewable energy is already directly being produced from homes in Australia through rooftop solar energy. While this source of renewable energy is already a step in the right direction, larger-scale projects are crucial to increase the amount of diversification of renewable energy production. Thanks to its large-scale territories and geographic positioning Australia can easily use wind and solar energy to reduce the stress the country has imposed on its water supply. With its abundance of sunshine and vast coast lines, Australia receives enough wind power to build many more panels and turbines than have already been installed. In order to carry out these plans, the Australian government is offering financial incentives to encourage the installment of renewable energy plants and households and small businesses are also being incentivized to install solar water heaters, heat pumps, solar panels and other similar structures.
Australia has the capacity to produce virtually unlimited energy from solar and wind power alone and this will feed not only its inter-connected electricity grids but also its decentralized micro-grids while also creating alternative sources of emission free energy such as hydrogen. Although the cost of generating power in Australia from existing coal stations is currently cheaper than developing new renewable energy, the cost to build new coal-fired plants exceeds the cost of renewable energy in the long run. Therefore, on top of presenting a more affordable and sustainable option, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power are also benefitting the economy by producing more available jobs in the sector than ever before.