The Tasmania state Liberal government has unveiled a draft action plan to reach its target of “200 per cent” renewables by 2040, saying the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy meant there had never been a more important time to manage the transition to renewable energy.
The action plan lays out the brad pathway to the 200 per cent renewable target, which is based on the idea that Tasmania will become “the battery of the nation”, using its abundant existing hydro-electric system, tapping into its wind resources and using new sub-sea links to provide fully dispatchabe renewable power to Victoria and the rest of the mainland, and creating a “renewable hydrogen” industry.
The 200 per cent target for the TRET – Tasmania Renewable Energy Target – is far beyond any other target contemplated by a state or federal government in Australia or overseas, although numerous agencies other advocates of renewable hydrogen have suggested multiples of 100 per cent renewables, such as the 700 per cent renewables touted by ARENA.
“This target will be unmatched globally,” the document says. “There are no other renewable energy targets in the world with Tasmania’s vision.”
The target means that Tasmania will effectively double its output of renewable energy from around 10,500GWh a year to 21,000GWh by 2040, with an interim target of 15,750GWh per year, or 150 per cent renewables. It expects $7 billion to be invested in new renewables projects by 2030.
The TRET is expected to be legislated later this year.
“There has never been a more important time to manage the transition to renewable energy,” energy minister Guy Barnett says in his forward.
“As a result of COVID-19, there are unprecedented challenges facing Australian households and industries.By seizing Tasmania’s immense potential, renewable energy can grow our economy, attract investment, create jobs and support Australia’s transition to renewable supply.
“Tasmania aspires to lead the way as a region for new and expanded industrial developments on-shore – where manufacturing, commercial and industrial operations can directly access our low cost, reliable and clean electricity resources.”
The draft action plan proposes the creation of a new body,Renewables Tasmania, to better plan, coordinate and promote the development of renewable energy in Tasmania, including the promotion of the state’s “renewable energy brand” both in Australia and overseas.
“By 2022 Tasmania will have become one of the few jurisdictions in the world to be 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewables,” the document says. “This represents a significant branding opportunity for major energy users seeking to achieve sustainability targets and lower their emission profiles through the use of renewable energy.”
The state currently has three operating wind farms at Musselroe, Bluff Point and Studland Bay, and two new wind farms at Cattle Hill in the Central Plateau and Granville Harbour on the west coast going through their commissioning phase.
There are 10 more renewable projects, predominately wind, at various stages of planning across the North, North-West, North-East and Central Highlands with the potential to provide billions of dollars of regional investment and significant construction and ongoing employment.
There are even two large scale solar farms proposed for the north of the state, and the number of households installing rooftop solar is also growing.
“Despite hydro and wind generation being historically more common sources of power in Tasmania, the government welcomes all forms of renewable energy technology and will embrace options for solar projects as it builds towards the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Target in 2040,” it says, adding it will also look at biomass projects such wood waste, and look at options for ocean energy (tidal and wave).
It says the additional pipeline of investment in renewable energy and long duration energy storage in Tasmania, including Battery of the Nation developments, is estimated to be up to $5.7 billion and 2350 jobs. The total economic contribution to Tasmania from Project Marinus, Battery of the Nation, and broader renewable investment is estimated to be up to $7.1 billion
The draft plan was welcomed by Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy, who said the company’s existing systems, proposed pumped hydro and new links to the mainland would be critical to the state’s “bold” renewable energy target.
“Tasmanians will directly benefit from more renewable energy generation through even greater energy security, investment and employment throughout the state, new industries such as renewable hydrogen generation and the take up of electric vehicles,” he said.
“We also share the State Government’s commitment to ensuring Tasmanians get value for money, and we’re confident that the costs of both Battery of the Nation and Marinus will be outweighed by the economic benefits, with Tasmanians paying only a fair share for projects that will benefit the country.”
Recordings of last week’s clean energy Stimulus Summit – run as a partnership between the @SmartEnergyCncl and @renew_economyare now available online at https://www.smartenergy.org.au/resources/presentations-stimulus-summit-renewablesled-economic-recovery
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