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Experts Outline Urgent Options for Energy System Decarbonisation

In a report released today by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), experts have presented options for driving Australia’s progress towards a zero emission electricity system.

The short report Powering the Net Zero Transition: Electricity Security Explained responds to electricity as a critical lynchpin for driving decarbonisation across a wide range of sectors, like transport, buildings, and industry.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker said, “As Australia moves towards a net zero energy system, electricity generated by solar and wind technology is poised to become our most dominant source of energy. Our expert Fellows advise that we have sound technological solutions already. The challenge to transition Australia’s electricity system to accommodate more renewable energy sources is not the race to develop new solutions – it's about the targeted investment in deploying existing technologies, and the infrastructure to store and transmit energy to provide reliable continuous supply.”

ATSE Fellow and Grattan Institute Climate and Energy Director, Tony Wood FTSE said, “In 2022, 35 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation came from renewable energy, up 4 per cent from 2021. Yet deployment rates, storage and supporting transmission expansion are not yet enough to achieve the Government’s 82 per cent renewable energy generation target by 2030.”

ATSE Fellow and Australian National University solar energy expert Professor Kylie Catchpole FTSE said, “Solar and wind already comprise 99% of new electricity generation capacity in Australia.  Dramatic cost reductions have accelerated widespread deployment of new renewable energy sources, including large-scale wind and solar farms and distributed rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.”

The report finds that transitioning the electricity system to accommodate more renewable energy sources will require greater investment in existing technologies as well as innovation in new technology solutions to reduce consumer costs further.

ATSE Fellow and Integrated System Plan architect Dr Alex Wonhas FTSE said, “Fortunately, technologies to solve Australia’s electricity security challenges already exist. The current imperative to decarbonise Australia’s energy system demands a faster pace for their deployment. Investment in innovation can help to reduce future energy costs for consumers.”

The short report, Powering the Net Zero Transition: Electricity Security Explained was released today and highlights the options on the table for expediting Australia’s zero emissions energy system and their role in achieving national climate goals.


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