A total shift to renewable energy would pay for itself through cost savings within two decades, and ultimately save Australians $20bn a year in combined fuel and power costs, a new report says.
The report, released on Thursday morning, outlines a path to powering homes and businesses from renewable sources by 2030. By 2035, 40% of transport could be emissions free, it says.
Nicky Ison, the report’s co-author and a founding director of the Community Power Agency (CPA), said that despite political sparring over energy policy, momentum behind renewables can only be slowed by policymakers, not stopped.
“As the climate and energy wars continue to rage, a central policy that would actually enable rather than stifle the growth of renewables and other clean energy options currently looks unlikely,” Ison said.
“Calling for bipartisan support could really be holding us back, giving more power to those who want to oppose the transition to clean energy.
“Meanwhile, state and local governments, households, communities, farmers, and businesses large and small are getting on with the job of repowering Australia with clean, affordable energy. The going can be unnecessarily tough, as the rules of the game are stacked against them, but progress is happening at a remarkable rate.”
The report calls for a “public interest” retailer: a body to provide services such as efficiency upgrades to low-income households in order to reduce their power bills.
It also says the electricity market, which is dominated by large power companies, should “act more like the internet”.