2012: The beginning of the clean energy era
Posted : Friday, August 17, 2012
This year will be the "tipping point, the beginning of the clean
energy era", Climate Commission, Chief Commissioner,
Professor Tim Flannery, told a CEDA audience in
"This is the critical decade. It is clear that energy systems
and the world's climate are changing more rapidly than we thought.
The case is stronger than ever for strong action in Australia,"
Professor Flannery said.
He said his optimism about the coming decade came from four
- Advances in clean energy technologies;
- Public support for clean energy;
- Increasing investment in renewable energy; and
- A drop in the price of wind, in particular solar energy.
"Global investment in renewable power and fuels has increased
sixfold since 2004 to $257 billion last year, while costs of
renewable energy were dropping faster than expected," he said.
"The cost of producing solar photovoltaic cells has fallen 75
per cent in the past four years and 45 per cent in the past
Professor Flannery emphasised Australia has great capacity for
renewable energy but is not using the most abundant natural
"The world is changing quickly and Australia needs to be
prepared if we are to prosper in the future. We need national
leadership to prepare us for a clean energy future," Professor
With our sun, wind, wave and geothermal resources, Australia has
some of the best renewable resources in the world, he said.
"We are taking the early steps on a multi-decade pathway to
transform our economy and society," he said.
Australia has had clean energy legislation introduced, a price
on greenhouse gas pollution, and a new industry coalition - with
330 companies interested in shifting to clean energy, he said.
"Australians are using energy smarter in their businesses and
homes," he said.
"We've (Climate Commission) been impressed with the capacity of
Australians to come together…to find solutions that are good for
the environment and reduce costs."
He said Germany was leading the way in renewable energy.
Its new energy plan will provide invaluable experience about how
industrialised countries transform from the traditional fossil-fuel
fed power grid, to a clean-energy based distributed, intelligent
power grid, he said.
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