Oz Decarbonization

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The Australian power market is “on track to almost fully decarbonize” over the next 20 years if renewable energy investments continue at the current rate, says the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Chief System Design and Engineering Officer Alex Wonhas. “At the moment we see incredible investment interest ... last year alone we connected about 3.3 GW of new generators,” says Wonhas, addressing concerns that renewable capacity might not be added fast enough to fill the gap from coal power plant closures (NE Jan.28'21). Delaying the coal closures is not an option: “Even if we want to delay the closures, we actually can’t because it is a commercial decision by [coal] generators if they want to close.” The only option is to “prepare for a system that very soon can be run almost exclusively on renewable energy,” Wonhas told a Wood Mackenzie conference this week.

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