Australia needs an energy sector that addresses the ‘energy trilemma’ – that is to say it must provide energy security, affordability and environmental sustainability. After a period of relative stability, significant change in the energy sector can be expected in coming years due to the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, together with the rapid pace of technological development occurring in the sector.
This roadmap seeks to help policy and other decision makers navigate this change by highlighting the key technologies that Australia can draw on as it endeavours to address the energy trilemma. It also identifies the barriers to these technologies and the potential enablers that may be called on to overcome them. Lastly, the roadmap identifies the key commercial opportunities for industry that low emissions technologies in the energy sector can provide.
Australia’s emissions reduction target
On 10 November 2016, Australia ratified the Paris Agreement, committing to achieve a 26-28% reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. The Paris Agreement also requires signatories to strengthen their abatement efforts over time with the overarching goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement also recognises that the world will need to achieve zero net emissions in the second half of the century.To achieve this level of decarbonisation, Australia will need to adopta multi-faceted approach, primarily targeting emissions reduction in the land and energy sectors. The energy sector, which is the focus of this roadmap, will play a key role given it accounts for 79% of Australia’s emissions