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Walking through field with wind turbines © Pond5 / CleverArts / WWF

Making Australia a Renewable Energy Exports Powerhouse

Our incredible opportunity to prosper in a zero carbon world

It's time to make Australia the world’s number one Renewable Energy Export Powerhouse by 2030.

Not only does Australia have some of the best renewable energy resources in the world, we now have our best ever opportunity to harness them for national and global good.

By combining what our nation is famous for, namely, – endless sunshine, huge land area, powerful winds, world-class expertise, and strong trade relationships – with the global shift to a low carbon future, it’s a no-brainerAustralia should take the lead as a renewable energy export powerhouse.

Australia can produce enough clean and affordable energy to power our whole nation, plus have plenty left over to sell to our neighbours.

There have been many debates arguing the choice between having a healthy environment and a healthy economy.  As a renewable energy export powerhouse, Australia could have both. We could boost our economy, create tens of thousands of new clean energy jobs and lower our domestic carbon pollution, improving the environment for all.

And we’ve got game in this space. Australians invented Wifi, and EFTPOS, technology that is now used all over the world. The modern solar cell was invented by an Aussie, and today, Australia has one of the highest rates of household solar in the world - with one in seven households having solar on their roofs. Aussie companies - big and small, and run by people like you and me - are leading the way in clean energy solutions, like grids, batteries, and electric vehicles. Australia has the tools and the solutions to become a clean energy powerhouse.

This is why WWF-Australia is calling on our leaders to make Australia the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy by 2030.


Specifically, we’re calling on all state and federal governments to:

1. Develop a costed Renewable Energy Exports Plan;
2. Ensure the current renewables boom continues;
3. Legislate a Climate Action Plan that ensures stable careers for workers, communities and industries currently reliant on the fossil fuel industry; and
4. Work together to accelerate production of renewable energy that delivers a zero carbon future and safer climate for all.

 

Read our full report: "Making Australia a Renewable Export Powerhouse
Download the report

 

There are renewable energy opportunities right across Australia, in every State and Territory. Here's just some of them:

Renewable energy map

What is “A Zero Carbon Future”

“A Zero Carbon Future” is how we describe a world that has transitioned away from burning fossil-fuel and into the a clean energy future.

There are many things we need to do to get to this point, and doing them will create jobs and export opportunities, and lower the cost of electricity.

For example, we’ll need to convert all our factories to being run by renewable power. Electric vehicles will become the norm for commuters, but so will electric trucks delivering produce to your supermarket, which will be solar-powered too.

 

WWF's plan also includes creating dedicated “mega renewables zones” where large-scale renewable power projects share fields with sheep, crops, and grazing, and are integrated with traditional land management practices. These would replace our need to burn fossil-fuels for energy.

If we do all this well, we could be the world’s number one exporter of renewable fuels and ‘solar-powered’ products..


Industrial solar power station © Shutterstock / ktksrh / WWF

What are renewable energy exports?


Australia can become the world’s number one exporter of renewable energy and related products and expertise by 2030.

Export products include renewable hydrogen-based fuels and direct solar power via undersea cables. We can export our expertise in engineering, business, legal and finance; and new hardware and software solutions for demand management, microgrids and the grid integration of renewables.

 

There are huge opportunities to export education, training and the potential to create vast new onshore manufacturing industries and tens of thousands of jobs.


Renewables export infographic

How can you have 700% renewables?

We can calculate it as follows:
1. 100% renewables: refers to the capacity needed to meet Australia’s current electricity demand.

2. 200% renewables: refers to step one above, plus the capacity needed to power Australia’s current transport, industry and building needs (away from gas, coal and oil).

3. 300-700% renewables: refers to the capacity needed to achieve steps one and two above, plus enough to:
- Create hydrogen fuels for export;
- Send solar power via sea cables to Southeast Asia; and
- Manufacture new solar powered products.


Solar panel with sunset background © Shutterstock / foxbat / WWF
700 percent renewable energy infographic

WWF is calling on governments to:

1. Develop a costed Renewable Exports Plan to get their jurisdictions to 700%;

2. Ensure the current renewables boom continues through smart policies and incentives;

3. Legislate a Climate Action Plan that ensures workers, communities and industries are looked after through the transition to a zero-carbon Australia; and

4. Work together to support accelerated action on renewable energy and new industry developments.