Australia needs an energy sector that addresses the ‘energy trilemma’ – that is to say it must provide energy security, affordability and environmental sustainability - according the CSIRO’s recently released Low Emissions Technology Roadmap.
After a period of relative stability, significant change in the energy sector can be expected in coming years due to the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, together with the rapid pace of technological development occurring in the sector.
This roadmap seeks to help policy and other decision makers navigate this change by highlighting the key technologies that Australia can draw on as it endeavours to address the energy trilemma.
It also identifies the barriers to these technologies and the potential enablers that may be called on to overcome them.
Lastly, the roadmap identifies the key commercial opportunities for industry that low emissions technologies in the energy sector can provide.
Based on nine months’ research, modelling and consultation, the report found that:
Australia is endowed with energy-rich resources and is well positioned to benefit from innovation in low emission technologies.
Energy productivity will remain important in reducing energy costs and emission levels throughout the transition.
Modelling conducted as part of the report suggests that new energy generation is likely to be mainly in wind, solar PV, storage and gas to meet our 2030 emissions reduction targets.
While the technology pathways are comparable in terms of cost, they carry different levels of commercial, technical, social and stakeholder risks.