In response to climate change, countries around the world, including Australia have agreed (under the Paris Agreement) to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 – 2°C. This requires transitioning away from polluting fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to solutions such as renewable energy well before 2050. Every country in the world has signed up to the Paris Agreement, although the United States have announced their intention to withdraw.
Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) is federal legislation designed to achieve 33,000GWh (or “at least” 20% of Australia’s electricity) from renewable sources by 2020. In 2015, the RET was reduced from 41,000GWh.
The Australian Government has announced that they will not extend the RET beyond 2020, nor have they adopted a Clean Energy Target as recommended by the 2017 Finkel Review.
For more detail see:
- Climate Council Clean & Reliable Power: Roadmap to a Renewable Future
- Climate Council Renewable Energy Jobs: Future Growth in Australia
- Climate Council Unpacking the Finkel Review
- Climate Council Giga-what? Explaining Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (*)
* Note that this report pre-dated the reduction of the RET to 33,000GWh
A number of state and territory governments have set renewable energy targets and are leading the transition to renewable energy in the absence of credible climate and energy policy from the Federal Government.
State and territory renewable electricity targets include:
- Australian Capital Territory – 100% by 2020
- Tasmania – 100% by 2022
- Queensland – 50% by 2030
- Northern Territory – 50% by 2030
- Victoria – 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025
South Australia is on track to achieve its previous target of 50% renewable energy by 2025. While New South Wales and Western Australia do not have state-based renewable energy targets, New South Wales has announced a longer term goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
For more detail see:
- Climate Council Renewables Ready: States Leading the Charge
- Climate Council Renewables: Powering Queensland’s Future
- Climate Council Territory Trailblazer: How the ACT became the renewable capital of Australia
- Clean Energy Council Clean Energy Australia Report 2016
Local Towns and Cities
Australian local governments are working towards a renewable energy future, including several aiming for 100% renewable electricity.