Consumers and Economy Big Winners if Australia Captures Renewable Energy Advantage

New report: Consumers and economy big winners if Australia captures
renewable energy advantage

Australia could become a world Renewable Energy Superpower if it captures the
competitive advantage its wind and solar resources provides, a new report by climate think
tank Beyond Zero Emissions finds.

(BZE Media Release: EMBARGOED –
00.01HRS MONDAY 19 OCTOBER 2015)

The report also recommends reforming the nation’s energy markets, following dramatic
price rises over the past decade since deregulation.

Renewable Energy Superpower will be launched today at the University of Melbourne by a
panel including Professor Ross Garnaut, Professor Karen Hussey (Deputy Director Global
Change Institute), Tim Buckley (Director Institute for Energy Economics and Financial
Analysis), and Fergus Green (UK Grantham Institute).

“Over the next two decades more investment is expected to flow to renewable energy and
efficiency solutions than development of coal, gas and oil combined, even under ‘business as
usual’ conditions. Nations with abundant, low cost energy will be considered the
superpowers of the renewable energy era,”
BZE CEO Dr Stephen Bygrave said.

“Even a conservative estimate of Australia’s wind and solar energy surpasses the nation’s
coal, gas, oil and uranium combined by 75 per cent. Australia should maximise this
opportunity.”

Report author Gerard Drew said the upcoming Paris climate conference provides an
opportunity for the new Prime Minister to not only re-set Australia’s climate policy but also
the future fortune of Australia’s economy.

“A recommitment to the role of renewable energy in a diversified economy could unlock direct opportunities to industries which provide half of all Australian employment.  Renewable energy will create jobs for Australians,” Mr Drew said.

“As the world decarbonises, energy intensive industries will search for countries delivering
lower production costs. Australia could be a natural home for these industries with its
established industrial capacity, infrastructure and skills base. Given the advantages Australia has, our government should be pushing for an ambitious climate agreement in Paris.”

The report finds that reforming Australia’s energy system is essential to realising the
economic and consumer benefits of the renewable energy era.

“Before deregulation, Australia’s energy prices were the lowest in the OECD. Now they are  midfield. Reforming the National Electricity Market, which currently creates significant
barriers to renewable energy and energy efficiency, will put Australia’s energy system back
onto a sustainable and affordable path,” Mr Drew said.

“Low cost renewable energy is an economic opportunity for Australia. The competitiveness
of Australia’s electricity system in the future will be determined by the decisions and
investments made today.”

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS –
-Panelists are available for interview on request
-A copy of the report will be available from
http://media.bze.org.au/resp/bze_superpower_plan.pdf

MEDIA ALERT
Media are invited to attend the launch.
5.30pm, Monday 19 October, Elizabeth Murdoch Theatre, University of Melbourne,
Parkville VIC. This event is sold out.
For media enquiries please contact CEO Stephen Bygrave 0408 907 686

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