Anna Skarbek witness to #NuclearCommissionSAust explains renewable energy’s economic potential

Skarbek, Anna CEFCMR JACOBI:  Ms Skarbek is the chief executive officer and executive director of Climate Works Australia since its inception in 2009 and she’s been leading the organisations working in analysing emissions reductions opportunities and partnering with business and government in unblocking barriers to their implementation.  She’s also a director of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, a trustee of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund, a member of the Australian Government’s Energy White Paper Reference Panel, and the Grattan Institute Energy Program Reference Panel. …..

She’s principally to give evidence today in relation to a report published by Climate Works Australia in September 2014 entitled Pathways to Decarbonisation in 2005, How Australia Can Prosper in a Low Carbon World…….

Anna Skarbek :  Extract of evidence given at Nuclear Royal Commission Hearing 9 Sept 15
 “…Based on today’s estimates, the real question is:  what are the technologies that you need in the 2040s, after we’ve had the 2030s, where renewables have become the majority share?  What we find is that there’s still a little bit of coal in the system that you see.  It’s begun to retire by 2030, but it’s not all gone.  So then the question is:  what replaces that baseload?  What we find is that renewables can do more than half of the system, based on, if you like, current technologies and management.  So demand management, weather forecasting, allows the intermittent sources of electricity to be managed quite successfully for over half, up to around two‑thirds, of the electricity grid…….

it was striking to us in doing this work how blessed Australia is for options in terms of transitioning to a low carbon economy.

We’ve modelled these three scenarios because we could be a 100 per cent renewable powered economy if we wanted to be……..

I see from how rapidly renewable energy technology costs have fallen that they often outperform what the estimate of future costs on paper today says.  So it’s possible that renewable costs could fall further than what we have published in this report because past evidence has suggested that’s certainly been the case historically.  In that case, renewables would become more competitive than the nuclear and the CCS options that we’ve looked at, unless those technologies also fell further…..”


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