Australian news, and some related international items

Businesses and State governments lead the transition to renewable energy

Guardian 26th Oct 2020, Future historians will no doubt remember 2020 as the year of Covid-19. But according to veteran climate campaigner Bill McKibben, they may also view it as a turning point, the year the world moved decisively towards “the transition everyone knew we needed to make”. McKibben told the recent Global Smart Energy Summit 2020 has been a year of “extraordinary convergence”, from the images of Australia’s bushfires, seen around the world on New Year’s Day – “like something out of Hieronymus Bosch” – to unprecedented developments such as China’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2060, the EU’s pledge to make its Green Deal and Є100bn Just Transition Fund the centrepiece of post-Covid recovery, and the US $15tn divested from fossil fuels.

Closer to home, there’s extraordinary convergence between business and state governments on the need to speed up Australia’s energy transition.

Tim Reed, president of the Business Council of Australia, wants a “national, bipartisan commitment to net zero emissions by 2050”. Most states have already made this commitment, and South Australia is leading the pack. The state’s energy and mining minister, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, says SA will aim for 100% net renewable generation by 2030. Rapidly expanding wind, solar and battery storage capacity in SA’s Upper Spencer Gulf region will play a key role in achieving that aim.

But energy transitions are not just about panels, turbines and targets. They’re processes of social as well as technological change. Unless local people see jobs and other benefits for their communities, there’s a danger support will falter, and the legitimacy of Australia’s energy transition will be undermined.

October 27, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy

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