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    Australia progressing on decarbonisation efforts


The government recently unveiled a new mechanism to incentivise cleaner alternatives.

by: Daniel Graeber

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Australia progressing on decarbonisation efforts

Australia’s electricity and gas monitor said August 31 that natural gas and other cleaner energy components were pushing the grid further down the energy transition pathway.

Daniel Westerman, the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), said investments in renewable power generation, natural gas plants, hydroelectric power and battery storage were all combining to help the nation clean up the grid.

“Australia’s energy system is transitioning to a decarbonised and decentralised power system, and AEMO is committed to working collaboratively with market bodies, governments, industry and consumers, who are at the centre of the energy transition,” he said.

The Australian government on August 23 solicited input on the design of a new Safeguard Crediting Mechanism that will help the country’s largest energy-using businesses adopt new technologies that will reduce energy costs and emissions.

The existing mechanism provides a framework for Australia’s largest emitters to measure, report and manage their emissions. It applies to facilities with direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of more than 100,000 metric tons/year.

The new mechanism would provide an incentive to businesses to reduce their energy costs and emissions by undertaking "transformative" projects.

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto said August 23 it had signed a letter of intent with Japan’s Sumitomo Corp to study the potential for hydrogen at the Yarwun alumina refinery in Australia. The partners said they would work on a feasibility study into whether hydrogen is a viable alternative to natural gas at the plant.

In terms of conventional sources of renewable energy, AEMO expects solar power systems alone could satisfy up to 77% of total demand “at times” within the next five years.