The Critical Decade: Generating a Renewable Australia

Momentum in Australia for renewable energy is growing. In the coming decades, the Australian economy could be powered almost entirely by renewable energy. This report looks at the enormous, but currently under-utilised, potential for renewable energy in Australia. It also looks at what's happening around the world: industrial scale renewable power is already powering major developed economies.

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Energy is fundamental to the way we live, our economy, and our future. For many years, we have used cheap and abundant fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas to produce most of our energy. Burning these fossil fuels is the main source of the greenhouse gases that are triggering the changes we are seeing in the global climate. To avoid the most damaging effects of climate change, we need to use energy more efficiently and harness energy technologies, including renewable energy, that produce either no greenhouse gas emissions or very low emissions. Australia is the sunniest country and has world-class wind resources. With some necessary changes to the ways in which electricity is produced and distributed, Australia will be well placed to further increase the use of renewable energy.

This report summarises the state of renewable energy in Australia and its potential. It is the Climate Commission’s 15th report, and draws on previous reports.

Five Key Facts

  1. Australia has enormous potential for renewable energy. This potential is currently under-utilised.
  2. Global use of renewable energy is growing strongly.
  3. Momentum in Australia for renewable energy is building.
  4. In coming decades, the Australian economy could be powered almost entirely by renewable energy.
  5. We have less than four decades to transform energy systems around the world to energy sources that do not contribute to climate change.

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