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And the Most Shocking News of 2023 Goes to…

Forget about scary books, the real fright this year is a report about Australia’s electricity supply, and it’s coming out this week.

In Western Australia this week, a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) showed that the government’s plan to stop using coal by 2030 would cause electricity shortages. The WA government, realizing the problem, quickly announced that the Muja 6 power plant would continue to operate until at least April 2025. This is because WA is planning to remove a large amount of electricity from the system by 2030, and the report shows there will be significant shortages by 2026 and even more by 2033. So, the conversation in the state is now about how to manage the change rather than how to achieve the targets.

In the National Electricity Market (NEM), even before this report was released, there were already announcements in Victoria and expected news from New South Wales. The question is no longer whether Australia will achieve its goal of net-zero emissions, but by how much we will miss it and what impact will the closures of coal plants have before we can replace them with renewable energy?

The Victoria government has made a deal with energy company AGL to keep the Loy Yang power plant running until 2035. Despite some objections, it is clear that the switch to renewables is not happening quickly enough to smoothly move away from coal.

Following this, Energy Australia announced that the Yallourn power plant will close in 2028, but the Point Piper plant will remain available until 2040.

Adding to this, the NSW government has hinted that the Eraring plant will stay open, raising questions about what form it will take and at what cost.

With the uptake of renewable energy in Australia at one of its lowest levels in years, held back by large subsidies in the US and high demand in Europe, opposition to upgrades of the electricity network, especially in rural areas, and uncertainty about policies after 2030, this week’s report will undoubtedly be alarming.

As the COP28 conference approaches in November, there will likely be debates in Canberra about who will attend, as the report will undoubtedly put Australia back in the spotlight for not meeting its targets.

So, the question is not whether we will miss our targets for changing our energy supply and reducing our impact on the climate, but by how much?

This is a summary article from Edge2020 – read the original article.

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