A zero carbon future: Based on current initiatives, how long before Australia meets its energy needs from renewable energies?

N. Doshi, N. Lelekakis, D. Martin, O. Krause

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Australian government has a target for 20% of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2020. In this paper we review the progress of installing renewable generation in Australia and ask, firstly, whether Australia is on track to meet its target and secondly, whether a goal should be set to generate all of Australia's electricity needs from renewables. If it is concluded that there is the potential for 100% generation by renewable how should this be accomplished? We found that progress on the state level was not consistent. It was also notable that while all states had a plan to reach the federal government's target, none appeared to have concrete plans to manage the reduction of fossil fuel usage by retiring old power stations. There seemed to be an expectation that the renewables target would be reached by installing new capacity. In order to reach the federal government 20% target, an annual growth of 10% in renewable energy production is required. Extrapolating this rate of increase in renewable energy share into the future suggests that Australia could achieve 100% renewable generation by the 2040s. With respect to the obvious technical hurdles in reaching full renewable coverage (e.g. intermittency and reliability), geothermal appears as a valuable option for exploitation, and as such its use is currently being explored in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference (AUPEC 2013)
Subtitle of host publication29 September – 3 October, Hobart, Australia
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781862959132
ISBN (Print)9781479938759
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAustralasian Universities Power Engineering Conference 2013 - Hobart, Australia
Duration: 29 Sept 20133 Oct 2013


ConferenceAustralasian Universities Power Engineering Conference 2013
Abbreviated titleAUPEC 2013


  • Energy Consumption
  • Energy Resources
  • Generation
  • Power System Planning

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