Australia’s fleet of coal-fired power stations face early closure due to rampant growth in renewables in a fast-paced move that piles pressure on achieving an orderly transition to clean energy, a blueprint by transmission giant TransGrid shows.
The NSW electricity grid owner has crunched six scenarios for the nation’s energy sector out to 2050 and found coal plants could be forced out of the grid up to 16 years early despite accounting for 70 per cent of supply currently.
Some 7 gigawatts of coal will exit the national electricity market by 2030 under current trends, 2GW more than anticipated, while a drive to deep decarbonisation would see the fossil fuel disappear from the system entirely by 2032 compared with the final coal plant exit date of 2048.
“The growth of renewables is challenging the economic viability of Australia’s ageing coal generators,” TransGrid said in its Energy Vision report to be released on Wednesday. “Our analysis indicates a high likelihood of early coal withdrawal across a range of future scenarios.”