December 7 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Labor party has unveiled a new emissions policy, under which it aims to boost to 82% the renewables share of National Electricity Market (NEM) generation, up from 68% under current government projections.
The plan, entitled Powering Australia, seeks to drive total investment of about AUD 76 billion (USD 53.5bn/EUR 47.4bn) with public investment of AUD 24 billion.
Out of that amount, a Labor government would inject AUD 20 billion to modernise the grid as the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) estimates that over 50 GW of new large-scale renewable energy will be needed on the national power market by 2042. Direct public investment would unlock private co-financing of AUD 58 billion for grid modernisation, according to the plan.
If elected, the Australian Labor party (ALP) would also allocate up to AUD 3 billion from its National Reconstruction Fund to drive the uptake of clean energy and green technologies, including green metals production (steel, alumina and aluminium) and hydrogen electrolysers.
Funds would also be deployed for the potential installation of 85 shared solar banks to boost rooftop solar array use as well as the construction of 400 community energy storage batteries. The policy also envisages investments to ensure an electric vehicle (EV) discount and to improve EV charging infrastructure so as to reach 3.8 million EVs in use by 2030.
ALP banks on renewable energy penetration as a building block to cutting Australia’s emissions by 43% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The policy seeks to boost renewable energy capacity to 26 GW by 2030.
The plan comes after the current government unveiled its Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan in October. Australia is due to hold federal elections in 2022.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.704/EUR 0.624)