Deep emissions reduction: How we will do it

Video recording of Andrew Blakers’ presentation

“We can make a 75 per cent cut in emissions without inventing anything new. We just need to go out and do it.”
~ Andrew Blakers

Professor Andrew Blakers: 100% renewables and storage

This was an interesting 30-minute zoom-presentation about 100% renewables in Australia – a different story than we usually hear, and with updated data which few of us have even heard about yet.

“Self-interest is the one issue that is standing between us and a near emissions-free future.”
~ Andrew Blakers

“Australia is the global renewable energy pathfinder. We are installing renewables much faster than anybody else.”
~ Andrew Blakers

Professor Andrew Blakers from Canberra’s Australia National University explained to those who gather Beneath the Wisteria in Shepparton on 22 July 2020 that Australia, and the world, could easily be totally powered by risk-free renewable energy quite soon and all that was needed was the political will.

He explained that Australia was leading the world in its uptake of solar power, despite the negative views of the Federal Government, and in a question to what individuals could do, he said: “Be subversive, put solar panels on your roof.”

“Australia is the global renewable energy pathfinder,” said Blakers. “We are installing renewables much faster than anybody else. Australia is installing wind and solar PV four to five times faster than Europe, Japan, China or USA, and about ten times faster than the global average. So through an accident of history and completely contrary to government preferences and policy, the compelling economics of wind and solar in Australia is running right over the top of policy and is causing Australia to be the global pathfinder.”

“Australia has now got 12 gigawatt of solar PV. That’s more than any other country, not accounting for population. We are number one in the world for rooftop PV. And this is hugely destablising coal-powerstations. It is just wonderful. So the more PV goes on your roof – just stuff as much as you can on your roof. First of all you save money, and secondly, it is a direct strike against the anti-renewables policy of the federal government.”

At its current rate, Australia is on track for 50% renewable electricity in 2025.

“Coal and gas can’t compete on price. Solar PV and wind are the only credible way to eliminate fossil fuels, which are responsible for 80 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is not very hard, it really isn’t. And we are well on our way to do it. We multiplied by six our renewables installation-rate between 2016 and 2019. We merely need to double it over the next three-four years. And then that places us on track to our zero emissions society in 2050.”

“Covid is really going to change these notions that you rely on foreign suppliers for essential services. After Covid, people are going to be much focused on home-grown everything. People are going to go out and hunt for the local wind and solar, and there is not going to be much for export.”

“We can make a 75 per cent cut in emissions without inventing anything new. We just need to go out and do it.”

Together with the Australian National University 100% Renewable Energy group, professor Andrew Blakers conducts research in the deployment and integration of renewable energy, working towards carbon-neutrality throughout Australia’s economy. He recently released a report demonstrating that Australia’s carbon emissions will decline by up to four per cent over the next few years – but further reductions will require government support.

→ The 30-minute Q&A session that followed Blakers’ presentation can be seen on youtube.com

→ See more on: re100.eng.anu.edu.au

Global pumped hydro atlas

→ Andrew Blakers’ powerpoint slides

Andrew Blakers is E2 Professor of Engineering at the Australian National University. He has held several personal Fellowships (Humboldt, ARC Queen Elizabeth II, ARC Senior Research and Radio Research Board). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australian Institute of Physics and the Australian Institute of Energy, and is a Life Member of the International Solar Energy Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

COMING UP NEXT BENEATH THE WISTERIA:
On Saturday 29 August 2020, the man behind “Music for a Warming World”, Simon Kerr, will join those Beneath the Wisteria to talk about his “Living with a Dying Forest” essay.

PODCAST:

Professor Andrew Blakers champions solar power

7 June 2020 · Robert McLean’s Podcast

Professor Andrew Blakers from Canberra’s Australian National University is an informed advocate of solar power and has written about that on The Conversation in a piece entitled: “Really Australia, it’s not that hard: 10 reasons why renewable energy is the future”.

In a relatively short story, in which he makes just 10 points, the professor explains how Australia can remove most all its carbon dioxide emissions and totally eliminate fossil fuels from the country’s energy agenda. Self-interest, he explains, is the one issue that is standing between us and a near emissions-free future.

Listen to the podcast

→ Libby Coker MP – 24 July 2020:
Renewables are our future
“The arguments against moving to 100 per cent renewables in the medium term future are rapidly running out of steam. Labor has committed to a target of zero net emissions by 2050 – which is what our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement implies – and I’m hopeful that we can get there earlier.”

→The Conversation – 23 July 2020:
In a world first, Australian university builds own solar farm to offset 100% of its electricity use
“Australian households have done much to support the transition via rooftop solar investments. Now it’s time for organisations to take a more serious role. The University of Queensland’s efforts to reduce its electricity emissions provides one blueprint.”

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