The highly ambitious forecasts by the federal government for reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions reveal that the power sector approaches the 50% target for renewable energy, a number it previously claimed would push a wrecking ball into the economy. As per official forecasts issued by the Department of Industry, Energy, Science and Resources, renewable energy production is projected to increase two times in the next decade. It is projected that rooftop, as well as large-scale wind and solar installations, will grow from 27% of the National Energy Market to 55% by the year 2030. In the May 2019 federal election, Bill Shorten, former Labor leader, introduced a proposal that would have required this result.

Significantly, the Opposition’s energy agenda was combined with an economy-wide goal of reducing pollution by 45% by 2030. Minister of Energy Angus Taylor alerted his government at the time, “Would never embrace those goals. They are irresponsible, and they will be a wrecking ball via the economy”.  The Coalition blamed Labor at the period for enforcing a goal without proposals to offset the rapid growth of the national grid renewables. It referenced BAEconomics models that showed the party’s twin climate ambitions could slash the average income by over $8000 and cost as much as 300,000 jobs.

On Sunday, the Morrison government-backed renewables with its pledge to incorporating wind and solar into the grid by supporting the Australian Energy Market Operator’s efforts, a spokesperson for Mr. Taylor stated. It invests in large-scale power lines linking grid-based wind and solar initiatives and funds power plants to sustain the irregular supply of dispatchable renewables. “The Morrison Government is encouraging the high levels of funding in clean energy production by backing any priority distribution project underneath the Integrated System Plan as well as desperately required dispatchable 24/7 generation via Underwriting New Generation Investment Plan as well as Grid Reliability Fund worth $1 billion,” stated the spokesman. 

A promise to finance a gas plant in Hunter Valley of NSW if the private enterprise does not, as well as a $9 million improvement to the Vales Point power station, which is coal-fired, are part of the government’s proposals for the dispatchable power. Based on its estimates, the Morrison government has said it would be able to reach its 2030 goal underneath the Paris Agreement to cut emissions by at least 26%, dependent on 2005 levels, without the use of contentious Kyoto carryover credits. At some point in the second half of the current century, it has dedicated itself to reaching net-zero emissions. Labor Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change Mark Butler stated that the government’s continuing support for the generation of fossil fuels had weakened its dedication to renewables.

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