Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia
Chapter 9: Mitigation strategies for energy and transport
By Dr Jim Smitham, Dr Jenny Hayward, Mr Paul Graham, and Dr John Carras
Australia has an abundance of clean energy options from which to choose. Its future will undoubtedly involve a wider range of different energy sources, which are suited to particular niches.
Renewables are expected to feature more prominently in Australia’s energy mix by the 2020s.
Promising technologies exist for coal with carbon capture and storage for base-load power generation, but these will depend critically on the price society places on carbon. Prolonged uncertainty over carbon pricing could risk delays in investment, because generators will be reluctant to invest in any technology that may be ‘stranded’ by subsequent policy decisions.
Energy saving technologies, demand reduction, and distributed power generation will help to lower national carbon emissions.
Changes in the transport sector will be driven far more by oil prices than by carbon prices. Electricity may become the transport fuel of choice with Australian motorists and transport operators, with the use of some LNG gas, diesel, and biofuels. Hydrogen fuel cells may eventually replace batteries in electric vehicles.
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