Under the Reference Scenario, electricity demand is expected to increase substantially, with households and services the main source of growing consumption (see figure 10).With the exploitation of efficiency measures, however, final energy consumption can be reduced to 40% below the reference scenario by 2020, a saving of 105 TWh/a.This reduction in energy demand can be achieved in particular by introducing highly efficient electronic devices using the best available technology in all demand sectors. Employment of solar architecture in both residential and commercial buildings will help to curb the growing demand for active air-conditioning.
The development of the electricity supply sector is characterised by a dynamically growing renewable energy market and an increasing share of renewable electricity.This will allow for the reduction of coal and a reduction in fossil fuel-fired condensing power plants to the minimum required for grid stabilisation.
By 2020, 40% of the electricity produced in Australia will come from renewable energy sources, rising to 70% by 2050.The following strategy paves the way for a future renewable energy supply:
To achieve economically attractive growth in renewable energy, a balanced and timely mobilisation of all technologies is of great importance.This mobilisation depends on technical potentials, actual costs, cost reduction potentials and technological maturity. Figure 13 shows the complementary evolution of the different renewable technologies over time. Up to 2010, hydro-power will remain the main contributors. However, the most technically developed technologies – wind and solar PV – increase markedly. By 2020, growth in solar PV and wind soars, assuming progressive policies are implemented to develop the manufacturing capacity of components and training a workforce to deliver these technologies. Technologies such as ocean energy, solar concentrating thermal and geothermal are also providing large-scale electricity by 2020.
By 2050, more sustained growth in solar concentrating thermal and geothermal, combined with smaller but still significant increases in solar PV and wind provide a suite of renewable energy technologies that provide over 70% of Australia’s electricity.
A combination of renewable energy being deployed at large-scale, aggressive energy efficiency measures in the short-term and the use of gas as a transitional fuel results in overall fossil fuel use to diminish rapidly. By 2010, over 5.3 GW of coal-fired power can be removed from the grid. By 2020, both black and brown coal capacity are reduced 75% from current levels. By 2030, coal-fired electricity is phased out entirely and from 2030 to 2050, the installed capacity of gas diminishes from 13 GW to 10 GW, as renewable energy continues to take the place of fossil fuel-based electricity.
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