Stunning week of early coal closures opens path to 100 pct renewables

It has one of the most stunning weeks on Australia’s rapidly accelerating green energy transition – a pledge by the country’s most coal dependent state to close all its coal generators by 2035, quickly followed by another pledge by the country’s biggest polluter to do exactly the same thing.
The new timelines outlined by the state of Queensland and utility AGL Energy should not be surprising. They are more or less in line with the most likely scenario laid out by the  Australian Energy Market Operator, and the assumptions behind the federal Labor government’s 2030 emissions reduction target.

But it is one thing for scenarios to be made and another for plans to be enacted. That is the game-changing situation in Australia – freed of the yoke of Coalition energy dogma and policy bollards – state governments and private companies and investors are now getting on with the job.

The pledges by Queensland and AGL were preceded in the same week by the announcement from the Victoria state Labor government of Australia’s first big energy storage target, and a first-in-the-world contract to use “advanced inverters” from a big battery to supply system strength.

That battery contract is actually quite significant, because it forges a path to run a grid without any need for coal generation to provide grid services, and rapidly advances the complex task of switching from a grid dependent on spinning machines to one relying on inverter based technologies.

Not even the biggest industrial users want coal any more: Not the Tomago smelter, not the Boyne Island smelter, and not the Sun Metals refinery. They want it gone within a decade. The energy world really has changed.

Read the full article published in Renew Economy 2nd October 2022