Coal to be kaput in Australia by 2050, as renewables, batteries take over

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Australia’s coal-fired generation capacity could be little more than a twinkle in Tony Abbott’s eye by as early as 2050, when renewables are forecast to provide 92 per cent of the country’s electricity.

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Greenpeace activists, including brand new executive directors of Greenpeace Netherlands: Anna Shoemakers and Joris Thijssen, block the coal ship ‘Paquis’ which plans to unload coal from Russia for the largest coal-fired power plant in the Netherlands. The blockade is accomplished by stretching a rope above the water between two wind turbines on either side of the harbour and attaching three Greenpeace activists to the middle of the rope. The activists are hanging ten metres above the water, holding a banner with the message: "Coal: Gone with the Wind". The sunset has come and the activists will stay at the rope until the morning. Actievoerders van Greenpeace onder wie de twee nieuwe directeuren Anna Schoemakers en Joris Thijssen verhinderen het schip Paquis geladen met kolen uit Rusland om aan te leggen bij de kolencentrale aan de Eemshaven. Zij doen dit door een draad te spannen tussen twee windmolens die op 500 meter afstand van elkaar staan. Hieraan komen 3 klimmers te hangen, de twee nieuwe directeuren maken hier deel van uit. De klimmers houden een spandoek vast met de tekst: "Coal: gone with the wind". De avond valt en de actievoerders zullen de nacht hangend aan het touw doorbrengen.
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Australia’s coal-fired generation capacity could be little more than a twinkle in Tony Abbott’s eye by as early as 2050, when it will have been all but snuffed out by cheap renewables and battery storage, and household energy investments.

The latest National Energy Outlook from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, predicts Australia will generate all but 8 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050, as dramatic reductions in battery storage costs boost solar and wind uptake.

The report, published on Tuesday night in Australia, neatly pole-vaults over the current national energy policy mire to forecast a six-fold growth in renewable capacity for Australia over the next 30-odd years, as technology and economics take over.

In fact, according to the NEO, renewables overtake fossil fuels as the major source of energy generation in Australia as early as 2031, before supplying 92 per cent of the total in 2050.

Renewables and storage make up 87 per cent of all new capacity additions to 2050, representing a $US138 billion ($A187 billion) investment opportunity.

By then, the report says, utility- and small-scale PV will have surged to 75GW, and wind to 48GW, while battery storage capacity will boom to at least 27GW in 2050 – the vast majority of which (23GW) will be installed by households and businesses behind-the-meter.

This behind the meter investment is significant and represents a reshaping of the grid. Together with demand response, behind-the-meter PV and storage will make up 44 per cent of total power capacity in Australia in 2050.

The solar capacity on household and business premises will supply more energy than coal in 2035, and nearly one quarter of Australia’s energy needs in 2050. Australia’s power system will be one of the two most decentralised in the world,

And by 2050, electric vehicles make up around 76 per cent of all new car sales in Australia, and 75 per cent of the total car fleet. Some 47TWh (14 per cent) of national electricity production will be used to charge EV batteries, but this also represents a flexible resource.

“Australia’s power sector is rapidly reorienting itself based on the economics of clean energy,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of BNEF in Australia. “New technology has set a path for Australia to achieve near-zero emissions power by 2050.

“The future grid will be underpinned by cheap wind and solar, with batteries and pumped hydro helping to smooth out the variability, and with more expensive gas acting as a fail-safe.”

For its part, BNEF says gas capacity will need also to increase, rising from 18GW today to 23GW in 2050, “to provide reliable supply in the rare periods when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.”

For coal, however, the news is all bad. Bloomberg NEF sees its share of the generation mix falling from 25GW in 2017 – when it was the source of 65 per cent of the country’s electricity – to 23GW in 2025.

And from there on, it’s on a slippery slope, as capacity diminishes to 18GW in 2030, and to just 6GW in 2040.

By 2050, BNEF expects coal to be gone almost completely from Australia’s generation mix – although the report does stress that this is “assuming there are no government attempts to save it with subsidies;” something certain Coalition members are currently working so hard to do.

“This year’s NEO confirms that cheap renewables combined with improved battery storage will eventually mean the demise of Australia’s coal-fired power plants,” said Leonard Quong, senior associate at BNEF.

“New coal will not be able to compete with increasingly cheap electricity from wind and solar, balanced with battery storage and other flexible technologies like hydro and gas,” he said.

“As existing coal generators reach end of life, they will not be life-extended or replaced.”

All this happens against a global backdrop where BNEF sees wind and solar surging to almost “50 by 50” – 50 per cent of world generation by 2050 – also largely due to the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries, enabling electricity to be stored and discharged to meet demand and supply.

Indeed, the key focus of the report – which is based on eight months of analysis and modelling by a 65-person Bloomberg NEF team – is the huge impact of falling battery costs.

This is particularly pronounced for lithium-ion battery prices which, already down by nearly 80 per cent per megawatt-hour since 2010, are expected to continue to tumble.

“We see $US548 billion being invested in battery capacity by 2050, two-thirds of that at the grid level and one-third installed behind-the-meter by households and businesses,” said Seb Henbest, the lead author of the NEO 2018, and head of BNEF in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar, so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

“The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

NEO 2018 sees $US11.5 trillion being invested globally in new power generation capacity between 2018 and 2050, with $US8.4 trillion of that going to wind and solar and a further $1.5 trillion to other zero-carbon technologies such as hydro and nuclear.

This investment will produce a 17-fold increase in solar photovoltaic capacity worldwide, and a sixfold increase in wind power capacity.

The levellised cost of electricity, or LCOE, from new PV plants is forecast to fall a further staggering 71 per cent by 2050, while that for onshore wind drops by a further 58 per cent.

As BNEF notes, these two technologies have already seen LCOE reductions of 77 per cent and 41 per cent respectively between 2009 and 2018.

As for coal, it is forecast to be “the biggest loser” on the global stage, too.

“Beaten on cost by wind and PV for bulk electricity generation, and batteries and gas for flexibility, the future electricity system will reorganise around cheap renewables – coal gets squeezed out,” said Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF.

Conversely, the role of gas generation “will evolve” with the greater energy market, BNEF says, when it will be increasingly built and used to provide back-up for renewables rather than to produce “base-load” electricity.

BNEF sees $US1.3 trillion being invested in new capacity to 2050, nearly half of it in ‘gas peaker’ plants rather than combined-cycle turbines. Gas-fired generation is seen rising 15% between 2017 and 2050, although its share of global electricity declines from 21% to 15%.

(AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

And what does all this mean for emissions? Bloomberg NEF says the bad news for coal is good for global pollution levels – although not good enough.

BNEF now sees global electricity sector emissions rising 2 per cent from 2017 to a peak in 2027, and then falling 38 per cent to 2050, the report says.

But this would still see the global electricity sector fall short of its part in the effort to keep global CO₂ levels below levels consistent with limiting the rise in temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius.

“Even if we decommissioned all the world’s coal plants by 2035, the power sector would still be tracking above a climate-safe trajectory, burning too much unabated gas,” said BNEF energy economics analyst Matthias Kimmel.

“Getting to two degrees requires a zero-carbon solution to the seasonal extremes, one that doesn’t involve unabated gas.”

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83 Comments
  1. Daniel 8 months ago

    “The latest National Energy Outlook from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, predicts Australia will generate all but 8 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050, as dramatic reductions in battery storage costs boost solar and wind uptake.”

    I suspect you mean coal. Not renewables.

    • Simon Holmes A Court 8 months ago

      no, 92% renewables is the same as “all *but* 8% from renewables”.

    • Eric 8 months ago

      I think Australia’s electricity supply will be 90% renewable well before 2050. Probably more like 2030 or 2035

  2. Chris Drongers 8 months ago

    Why stop at 92% renewables? With so much sun, and a lot of wind, Australia is well endowed with resources to continue to be an energy exporter. The energy will be as electricity (to south-east Asia), and hydrogen or ammonia or smelted metals to the rest of Asia and India. It doesn’t make sense to set up a significant industry building renewables power plants and transmission lines only to ramp it down when the Australian domestic market (industrial as the residential and commercial markets will be largely satisfied by self generation on rooftops or from PPAs with nearby solar farms).
    Go for broke and build lots more renewables and export the excess.
    Fantastic news.

    • Jon 8 months ago

      The last bit is very challenging economically, it needs some very big energy storage systems that sit there full and unused 92% of the time so that their energy is available for the 8%. Or all all storage systems need to hold “reserve power” for those circumstances, both options are hard to make economic and therefore finance.

      • Marcus 8 months ago

        This is where hydrogen can finally be useful. Just build extra renewable energy to create and store it.

        • Eric 8 months ago

          Yes, if Hydrogen is going to be useful, large energy reserve will be it.
          But it is facing a challenge from Lithium Ion which has just dipped a toe in the water on large scale energy storage and is doing very well. So far, Hydrogen hasn’t even entered the arena.

          I’m not sure Hydrogen will make it, because of its difficulties. Battery storage(lithium, flow or other) looks like being the winner because there is so much room for improvement they are relatively simple technologies to manufacture and scale.

      • Chris Drongers 8 months ago

        I disagree that the energy reserve infrastructure will be unused most of the time. On the basis that sunrise and sunset , cloudy and windless days can be forecast days ahead. When the forecast is for sunny/windy conditions use the reserve to keep factories running (by your estimate 92% of the time ) , when dull conditions forecast progressively switch factories to maintenance , training activities and use the last days of renewables to fill the batteries/dams.

        • Jon 8 months ago

          That could work in a communist country, it isn’t going to work where free enterprise exists.
          Would you react favourably if someone told you that your weren’t aloud to have any income for 8% of the year but you still need to meet your current bills?

          • Chris Drongers 8 months ago

            How much of an industrial enterprise is downtime (training, repair, logistic delay) now? Add a price penalty for not having demand management (aka using cheap power when available, avoiding expensive power at 8% of times) and a command economy is not required.

          • Jon 8 months ago

            Most industries/factories I have been involved in (I’m currently in gas) schedule full plant outages down to the minimum and do everything than is practicable to reduce it. Current have our plants running at 99.4% uptime and striving for more. I think you’ll find everyone else is the same.

          • Chris Drongers 8 months ago

            Manufacturing industries that I have knocked around schedule overnight downtime for cleaning (abbotoirs, feed mills, big conveyor systems), consumables replacements (sharps, filters).
            Horses for courses.

          • Eric 8 months ago

            Are you on planet earth or floating in some parallel universe?

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            Open your comment history, hypocrite

          • Eric 8 months ago

            “hypocrite” – please explain

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            you

          • Eric 8 months ago

            What? are you deranged or something

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            So you don’t want to expose your comment history to criticism? No surprise there. The so-called “Liberals” never do.

          • Eric 8 months ago

            You need to leave your assumptions at the door. I keep my own comments private because I don’t troll through other peoples comments. In fact, I don’t get people who do that.

            And besides, we live in a free country so if I want to keep my comments private, what’s it to you?

            If you want to argue a point, do so.

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            Open your comment history before I give you any respect. Idiot.

          • Eric 8 months ago

            Clearly you are just an insulting troll. Goodbye

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            Clearly you have just been Outshined.

          • Eric 8 months ago

            Lol. A bit off topic, but nice tune.

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            It doesn’t reset the above obligations, if one wants to continue here…….

          • Eric 8 months ago

            Are you the site Gestapo or something!?

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            Only a Gestapo on a surfboard about one-third of the time with my other commitments.

            Seriously, open up your comment history dude or you are just another troll.

          • Eric 8 months ago

            Oh.. get lost!

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            So after a hooray-henrying HOUR of trying to get you, a regular poster to RenewEconomy, to open up your (presumably, but not certain, sordid) history of comments, you refuse to do so. You are weak, my friend. When are you going to stop being weak?

          • Eric 8 months ago

            You are a very strange person. I’ll call you a bully actually.
            Why the hell would you bully someone on a forum?
            You should look in the mirror and try to stand a bit taller.

            You are blocked

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            But I love you dude!

            ha ha Outshined. RIP Chris.

          • Carl Raymond S 8 months ago

            What if the deal was spiced up with practically free energy, so on the non maintenance days you made a killing, profitwise?

          • Alastair Leith 8 months ago

            What so the forward a day market can’t work? Poor capitalism, then.

      • Ertimus J Waffle 8 months ago

        You are wasting your time no one on these sites understands economics they all think money grows on trees. The Australian school system was very successful in teaching students that you can borrow and borrow and borrow until all your credit cards are maxed out.

        • Peter F 8 months ago

          You are in fine form recently aren’t you. Let’s talk about money
          At current cost, over the next 25 years replacing all our existing coal and the older half of our gas plants will cost about $100bn. Annual operating and fuel costs about $13 bn. If we build 25 GW of new wind and 25 GW of solar PV , 5GW of solar thermal 5GW of pumped hydro and 20% of customers install small batteries which they will do anyway because it saves them money we can replace all the coal and gas generation used today, total investment will be around $80 bn and allowing the remaining gas plants to run for 800 hours per year full load would give annual operating cost of less than $3bn and emission would be about 5% of what they are now, annual water usage reduced by about the same as Melbourne’s entire water supply and save about $5bn/yr in health costs

    • Jo 8 months ago

      Yes, instead of bauxite we could export refined aluminium, a major energy carrier.

    • Alastair Leith 8 months ago

      It does if you are resource sector player. dig it, ship it, buy yachts seems to be the MO

  3. RobertO 8 months ago

    Hi All, I am hoping Coal will be gone by 2025 -2030. It may be slowed down in it’s departure by the change to transport, but Transport will not save it. Gas will be our backup system after PHES, Batteries and Stationary Fuel Cells have all done their part. Longer term Natural Gas is supplemented by H2 and then replaced by man made stuff and chemically made stuff (bio and manufactured CH4 in the 2030 -2040)

    • Shilo 8 months ago

      Syngas?. Nat gas will be priced at the location of delivery. Lots of coal can be converted to Syngas, and bunt in turbines as back up?. If needed of course.

  4. Jo 8 months ago

    We should use the correct units: battery capacity is measured in GWh not in GW.

    • Giles 8 months ago

      Battery capacity is measures in GWh once a facility is designed and complete. But it is usual for estimates of battery installation, and even in tenders, to nominate GW, and see what individual storage providers come up with in terms of GWh. and that depends on the use – arbitrage, time shifting, grid security. Until that time, GWh is just a wild guess and not appropriate.

      • Jo 8 months ago

        Thanks Giles, I agree with that. However if you write “… battery storage capacity will boom to at least 27GW …” it must be GWh because battery capacity is measured in units of energy. Capacity is a defined term. You could use battery size or battery power if you talk about GW.

        • Giles 8 months ago

          Well, you better take issue with BNEF, whose figures we quote, and the likes of AEMO, CSIRO and other international organisations who all use the same approach. Although funnily enough, BNEF use GWh for car batteries.

          • Eric 8 months ago

            GWh’s are more meaningful in terms of energy storage. GW’s are more meaningful in terms of energy supply.

          • juxx0r 8 months ago

            i think you mean power supply

          • Alastair Leith 8 months ago

            bet you had a dollar for every time you’ve had this conversation in comments, Giles. 🙂

          • juxx0r 8 months ago

            That’s because anyone that knows anything, knows that a Watt is a flow not a stock, so it doesn’t describe a stockpile particularly well.

      • Ertimus J Waffle 8 months ago

        It never stops amazing me how the so called renewable experts don’t even know the fundamentals of electricity generation and the amount of power available over a given time and how it always get’s mixed up. When I worked in a power station control room we never used MW it was always Mvars. but that would be taking it to a level for people who think that the amount of power you can generate is MW to understand If these people don’t even understand such basic fundamentals then whats the chance they have any idea or understand what they are talking about.

    • Andy Saunders 8 months ago

      There are two figures of merit for power storage: energy and power. Energy is in units of GWh/MWh and is a function of the number and size of cells.Power is in units of GW/MW and is a function of the inverter (and the ability of the cells to discharge quickly).

      So technically there should always be both measures. But this article is partly about the cost of cells (in the graph), so GWh (or kWh) is correctly used. Elsewhere in the article batteries are being compared to generation alternatives, so power units (GW) are appropriate.

  5. Mike Dill 8 months ago

    This report is already out of date. Tesla will be producing batteries at US$100/kwh this year or next, and will have the pack price down to that level in 2020, so the 2025 implied price shown happens in 2020. By the way, at US$70/kwh (the 2030 projection shown), new battery electric vehicles cost less than combustion engine cars, which also flips that market.
    As this happens, gas peakers are gone from the market, as ‘4 hour’ batteries cost less to build, and can do additional jobs for the utilities.
    Yes, there will still be a place for high efficiency combined cycle gas, but for those cases when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow for more than two or three days, when storage of all types cannot cover the load. It will run for a day or two at a time, refilling all the storage. My personal guess is less than 4% of the year.

    • Ertimus J Waffle 8 months ago

      You renewable power dreamers just don’t realise it will cost tens of Billions of dollars to change the present power supply infrastructure into one that runs on batteries, wind, solar and cow farts. No one can afford it but keep on dreaming about fictitious 10 cent solar cells and intermittent wind generation that in the end has to be backed up with syncherous base load generators. When the last of the coal fired power stations disappear there will be no more power in Australia no matter what fairy tale dreams you come up with. Like the petrol fuelled piston engine that was invented in the 19th century and many pundits said was obsolete many times is still the main motive power for cars. With all your science, technology and brain storms the world always goes with the most reliable and cheapest form of engineering in the end, people who think brain farts direct the course of civilization are deluded fools.

      • Peter F 8 months ago

        Yep it will cost Billions but about $20bn less than replacing the coal plants and then save $15-20bn per year in operating, health, waste disposal and health costs. That is making the silly assumption that costs for renewables don’t fall further. On current trends the cost will be about $40bn less than replacing the coal and gas plants.

  6. John Saint-Smith 8 months ago

    I sincerely hope, for the sake of the world’s climate, and with the most favourable conditions for renewable energy of any developed nation, that we (Australia) do a whole lot better than this! If this linear trajectory takes us to 8% coal generated electricity, 15% gas, and 24% petroleum powered vehicles, by 2050, we might as well forget it.

    If this scenario were translated to all other countries, total accumulated emissions from these fossil sources of energy would mean we (globally) would overshoot our remaining ‘2 degrees’ carbon budget by a huge margin, on the way to 3-4 degrees of global temperature rise by the end of the century and human history.

  7. Robin_Harrison 8 months ago

    It must be comforting, particularly to investors in the fossil fuel industry, that the technological disruption of this energy transition will behave very differently to every other tech disruption we’ve ever had. Apparently Bloombergs predict growth will not be exponential. I wonder if BNEF are at all liable when those investors who took their advice are stuck with stranded assets decades before they expected it. Probably not but it seems deliberately misleading.
    My favourite bit, after EV price parity by about 2025 for the next 25 years over 25% of the population will happily pay orders of magnitude more for their transport, presumably because it makes cute broom broom noises. It’s beyond belief BNEF aren’t across this.

    • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

      They are way more up-to-date and a lot closer to the reality than most.

      • Robin_Harrison 8 months ago

        True enough but still not within cooey of reality.

        • juxx0r 8 months ago

          I agree, if solar is going to fall 71%, then that puts it at about 1.2c/kWh, so overbuild and who cares if you curtail 50% and then it’s goodbye coal, sucks to be gas. Same for wind. Curtailment will be the new storage when power is that cheap.

  8. D. John Hunwick 8 months ago

    My own view that phasing out coal by 2050 is taking FAR TOO LONG. It will need to be phased out at least 90% by 2040. If that needs a little bit of dictatorialship with industries so be it – after all its the future of the planet we are talking about!

    • Jo 8 months ago

      Yes, far too long. Even if we stop emitting green house gases now we have a face serious consequences from our carbon pollution like e.g. 5 m sea level rise. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22630253-300-latest-numbers-show-at-least-5-metres-sea-level-rise-locked-in/?intcmp=PACNSNS2018-inlinelink_ocean&utm_medium=PAC&utm_source=NSNS&utm_campaign=inlinelink_ocean

    • Alastair Leith 8 months ago

      When Beyond Zero Emissions made the first 100% RE plan for Australia, The Stationary Energy Plan (free download) it was premised on the fact that emissions reductions in historically high emitting nations like Australia need to be almost immediate to stay under 2.0 ºC of average warming. (In fact it turns out we now know if we left the planet today and turned out the lights peak temp would rise to a range estimated at [1.5-2.1 ºC] or best guess of +1.7 ºC on 1850-1900 temperatures. Add 0.2 ºC for preindustrial temperatures.

      The Potsdam Institute, who partner with Uni Melb in the Climate and Energy College also advise the German Govt on climate change policy. Australia is amongst the highest per capita historical GHG emitters in the world, if not the highest of all. They showed Australia must reduce it’s emissions within a decade, so the SEP was an attempt to show how that could be done in the electrical power sector within ten years, including increased demand assumptions for electrification of all road transport and industrial processes, and savings in buildings from energy efficiency measures.

      Nothing much has changed, except that decade, the so called critical decade for action on CC is over in 18 months.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d437174d1b36264e1b6268d982aa03e5dc7357882c8c79c4c6f212c3d5c7c8c3.jpg

      • Joe 8 months ago

        We have a climate emergency and the numbers just keep reinforcing the need for drastic action. The Coalition Government has shown its hand with their NEG and the puny Paris Agreement target that they are not interested in being serious with reducing GHG emissions. The next Fed election is coming, we just can’t afford another 3 years of Coalition Government. We need some strong Leadership at a Federal Level to compliment the actions by the States.

        • Greg Hudson 8 months ago

          Have you seen a Labor policy on GHG ? I haven’t.

        • Alastair Leith 8 months ago

          Wish ALP would just get behind extending the RET, it’s working, well understood and legislation is in place already, just needs extending and taking forest harvesting out of it. Bill Shorten is Mr stay-on-message and win ugly not Mr solve-the-world’s biggest problem unfortunately.

      • Greg Hudson 8 months ago

        ”Australia is amongst the highest per capita historical GHG emitters in the world, if not the highest of all.”
        Luckily, we in Australia are only a blip on the radar of global population, so even if we are the biggest polluters per capita, our total pollution is lower than just about everyone so the total amount of pollutants produced each year is puny. Statistics can be manipulated, and in your case, not very convincingly IMO
        Note: I don’t own a car (ride an ebike) and have had solar panels on 3 of the last 4 houses I have owned, so I’m not on the side of the coal polluters – I reckon we should shut them down way before 2050…

        • Alastair Leith 8 months ago

          How is what I said a manipulation? If one family in the street is doing drugs and not sending their kids to school is that somehow ok because everyone else is doing much better than them? that’s in effect what you are saying, that because we have a small population and are rich, all the big nations can do all the work and we will continue to be part of the problem not the solution.

          Also note that if all the small nations of the world are added up we become a top twenty nation of GHG emissions.

          Also note we are one of the richest countries per capita in the world with one of the best science and tech sectors for a country this size. If we can’t do better than India it’s criminal negligence.

          • Farmer Dave 8 months ago

            Totally agree, Alastair. Many Australians would like to see their country show leadership, not cravenly claim that we are too small to have to be responsible. Given the large amounts of our fossil fuel exports, we can hardly claim the moral high ground on this matter.

        • Crankydaks 8 months ago

          Australia has shut down quite a few coal fired stations in the past decade, being, Northern and playford in SA, Hazelwood, Morwell and Yallourn in Vic, Munmorrah, Wallerawang, Vales point partially in NSW, Colinsville in Qld and probably more. Our co2 emissions continue to rise. Have you ever thought there may be other factors, for instance population growth and consumerism? When we finally shutdown all of our coal stations will climate change be averted?. No, only unemployment and social devastation will follow, but as long as your happy, lets soldier on. Another latte please, two sugars, and please dont be tardy, the Audi is in a 15 minute parking zone.

          • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

            When coal fired stations reach the end or the near-end of their operating life, the maintenance costs for those old black-gunk burning clunkers becomes crippling. The only way to guarantee the minimum level of costly maintenance which would keep these old clunkers operational would be to keep them in public ownership. But the Liberal party which aims to privatise (into either partial or entire neglect) every thing and its dog, would not agree to that.

    • Ertimus J Waffle 8 months ago

      Seen as the Japanese are alone building 50 new HELE power stations (among the hundreds planned for SE Asia) that will rely on Australian coal and have a life of forty years it will be interesting to see if your wishes come true. And by the way if you were watching the news lately about the Queensland premier meeting Japanese government and power company officials it was to tell the Queensland government that if they in any way stopped or impeded coal supply to the japanese HELE plants the Japanese government would stop investing in Queensland and destroy the Queensland economy. Now I am sure your wishes override the Japanese economy but given that the last time Japan attacked Australia it was over the USA banning oil supply’s to Japan. Just a little history for you there.

      • D. John Hunwick 8 months ago

        Thanks for rhis comment. I was unaware of what is going onwith the QLD government.

      • Peter F 8 months ago

        The Japanese aren’t building 50 new HELE plants a single planning document said they might need 45 new plants totalling 27GW or the equivalent of 10 Bayswaters. However none of them have been started half a dozen units have been added to existing power plants but coal power production has changed very little over the last few years and wind and solar are growing by about 8GW/y. Nuclear plants are very slowly restarting and offshore wind is now being explored seriously following Taiwan’s recent 3GW contracts

  9. david_fta 8 months ago

    92% renewable by 2050?

    Too little, too late.

  10. Barry Alternative Fact Covfefe 8 months ago

    Unless the government is successful in preventing it coal will not last till 2050. Solar and wind will trounce coal and gas in 5-10 years on economics, especially with the fossil price gouging. They are writing their own epitaphs.

    Australia is in a position that not a lot of gas should be necessary due to an abundance of hydro, though batteries will be needed in fair amounts but even then given the solid sun and wind resources not as much as a country without such solid hydro which is essentially a rechargeable battery.
    The big problem is during a very prolonged cloud/wind free period gas may be needed but maintaining a fleet of almost completely unused gas generators will not be economic so it probably won’t happen.

  11. Ertimus J Waffle 8 months ago

    After reading the rubbish espoused here I thought I was reading a MAD magazine.

    • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

      Yep I thought so – Ertimus J Waffle is a pseudonym. You can’t fool us Alfred E Neuman.

    • Joe 8 months ago

      You back again, must be a slow day in WaffleLand

    • rob 8 months ago

      GILES PLEASE FORGIVE ME ME………..FUCK OFF WAFFLE

  12. shane 8 months ago

    The Liberals stand in the way how long it takes to transition to renewables.
    For every year of power of the Liberals ., add to the horizon double that the time taken to transition to renewables

  13. Eric 8 months ago

    2050!? Try 2030

  14. onesecond 8 months ago

    Windgas via H production and methanisation will provide cheap carbon neutral gas from excess renewable electricity production. All the means are there, if the world put all their emphasis to it we could be carbon neutral in ten years with a much higher living standard than today.

  15. Mike Borgelt 8 months ago

    How have the windmills in SA been doing the last 48 hours.? This morning at 7:45 there was no wind energy and it appears to be the same right now.
    The rest of Australia should cut the interconnectors to you fools. Australia runs on black and brown coal. 30 billion dollars on renewables over the last decade, all wasted. The subsided tax eaters have done well, of course.

    • Nick Kemp 8 months ago

      Ho hum – another fool who doesn’t understand the electricity grid appears to back up mt waffle

    • Ren Stimpy 8 months ago

      NSW needs a new interconnector with SA. When our NSW coal plants are failing in the heat we will need the excess wind and solar that SA can offer, along with Queensland’s excess and Victoria’s excess.

  16. Malthus Anderson 8 months ago

    This is good news but actually coal in Australia will be kaput, as in power stations,
    by 2030.

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