Malcolm Turnbull might use the Paris climate talks to correct Australia’s reputation globally in the energy industry that is renewable.
It’s not going to be simple. Early in the day in the 12 months Australia became among the only nations to legislate to cut back its commitment to renewable energy, aided by the federal government slashing the power target that is renewable. It’s believed it will cost the national nation $5-6 billion in lost investment until 2020.
Turnbull has historically been supportive of renewables and weather change that is tackling. Environment Minister Greg Hunt ended up being recently in Asia, touting Australia to be “open for business” on renewables at a summit in Shanghai. But, the talk, thus far, has not translated into action.
Many renewable energy businesses shut up store in Australia during the past few years as a result of policy environment that is harmful. Nevertheless there continues to be a appetite that is strong investment in Australia provided our huge resources.
A report earlier this year by the Climate Council found that the nations attracting the investment that is most in renewable energy are the ones with stable, dependable and bipartisan policy environments.
On a trip that is recent China, I delivered a target at the eighth Chinese Renewable Energy Conference in Wuxi. The opportunities were described by me for this industry in our country. We now have an wealth that is abundant of from the sun and wind, but only 13 per cent of our power hails from renewables.
A short while later, a lot more than 30 representatives of a few of the earth’s biggest power that is renewable hurried forward to press their business cards into my hand.
They certainly were all thinking about possibilities for renewable energy investment in Australia, but their first question ended up being: “Is the policy environment stable sufficient it would repay? if i did so invest”
A Indian that is wily investor me over lunch: “How can we be sure that they don’t simply alter their policy half a year later on?”
We usually learn about exactly how polluted the fresh air is in Asia and also this was apparent on my journey. However, we usually do not hear one other part of the coin, how work that is significantly going on in Asia to tackle climate modification and smog. The power that is renewable is growing incredibly quickly in China, with investment increasing 32 per cent between 2013-2014, work expanded an incredible 51 per cent between your year prior to to 2.6 million jobs. Asia happens to be leading the international globe on photovoltaic and wind energy.
Two times prior to the seminar we’d stood in the middle of Asia’s biggest array that is solar. Located in the desert of this Tibetan plateau, a sea of solar panels extends to your horizon in all directions, 12 kilometres by 12 kilometres. It generates sufficient capacity to supply about 300,000 houses being australian. The resounding thought we achieving this? as I endured here watching the winter sun glint off the panels was: “Why are not”
We’re the sunniest country into the global globe with huge tracts of land, but we’ve nothing can beat it.
Australia is among the most readily useful places on the planet for solar and wind power. Our experts are during the forefront of renewable power innovation, from building the first hot-water that is solar, to major innovations regarding the effectiveness of solar power panels. We now have exemplary possibilities to utilise our clean power sources in the home, but we also must certanly be considering the wider ramifications which are financial.
Asia alone is looking to build 800-1000 GW of low emissions generation ability by 2030, that’s more than all the power that is coal-fired that exist in Asia today and close to total current electricity generation capability in america. Once the globe moves to increasingly more energy that is renewable and other nations will enhance their production in these areas. Already Tesla is building a huge giga-factory in the usa to produce household and commercial batteries to keep energy that is solar.
How can Australia benefit from this growth? Could we produce tech that is high? Could we be investing more in research and development to create new technologies that are revolutionary? Australia already produces more lithium than virtually any country, what opportunities are there into the global world mass-producing lithium-ion batteries? Already an organization that is chinese consented to purchase 100 % of the lithium mined from the Mount Marion mine in Western Australia.
The longer we delay, the more the danger opportunities to produce global leadership that is revolutionary pass us by, and we’ll be simply technology and equipment buyers, in place of innovators and business creators.
The newest federal government is acknowledging the issue with Greg Hunt changing the rhetoric to some degree. But, to actually save Australia’s reputation we truly need long-lasting, committed and bipartisan power that is renewable.
The Paris seminar will mark the transition that is amazing world is making from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The question for Australia, and for Malcolm Turnbull, is: can the country harness the rewards from the sun.