If Australia wants to keep pace with large economies that have ambitious trajectories to clean up their energy generation profiles, it has some catching up to do. India has introduced legislation around a domestic carbon market and China says its industrial sector will peak in 2030. Meanwhile, Australia has all the sun and wind anyone could ask for, plus powerful catalysts such as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, but had a Coalition government that wouldn’t release the handbrake.
“If the government is willing to pull the levers, things will change pretty fast,” says Rob Fowler, partner in energy transition at consultancy Partners in Performance.
While the Federal Government referred to investments in micro-grids in the recent federal budget, and the opposition promised to invest in renewable energy in its reply, neither major party has recognised the opportunity Australia has to become a leading global copper producer vital to supporting a renewable energy future, says the Australian headquartered management consultancy.