Australia is taking on renewable energy faster than the rest of the world and is on track to meet its carbon emissions target under the Paris climate accord well before 2030 because of the growth in wind and solar power, a study has found.
A new report from scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) has found that the target could be reached five years sooner if Australia’s investment in renewable energy continues at the current rate.
With several big wind and solar farms opening over the past year and rapidly growing installation of rooftop solar panels, Australia is adopting renewable energy faster per capita than the rest of the world, the study said.
In signing on to the Paris Climate agreement, Australia committed to reaching carbon neutrality, or net zero carbon emissions, by 2050. As an intermediate target, it promised that by 2030 it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26 per cent below the levels recorded in 2005.
Lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers says Australia is a global leader. “Australia is installing renewable energy at a rate four or five times faster per capita than China, Japan, the United States and the European Union,” he said. ” This rapid build rate has important implications for greenhouse emissions. If we continue to do what we’re doing right now then we’ll meet our Paris emissions target five years early, in 2025.” Professor Blakers says private investment is driving the renewables boom, such as solar panels on roofs or businesses, or companies building windfarm or solar farms.
Based on the new renewable energy that has started in Australia since last June and is expected over the next few years, emissions will drop sharply from the power sector, offsetting possible increases from other sectors, such as transport and farms, the ANU researchers calculated.