Australia is set to surpass its targets for renewable energy, with the country moving toward getting 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. As the effects of climate change become more and more evident, the push to renewable energy and sustainable living is a growing global movement - and Australia may be leading the pack, but they are far from the only country that is taking steps to try and improve their environmental impact.
At the end of 2015, countries around the world got together to sign the Paris Agreement - a global plan to take steps to mitigate global warming. The efforts of each of the countries varies, but this historic moment was one where leaders all over the world agreed that something must be done to create a greener, more sustainable future for our planet. In the years since then, Australia has been working hard to focus on renewable energy, and now it looks like they are going to smash their targets in just over a decade.
According to a new report from the Energy Exchange Institute at Australian National University, Australia is on track to meet their targets for emission reduction by 2025, and to be getting 100% of their electricity from renewable sources from 2030. These sources would be primarily solar - with rapid growth in the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems - as well as wind farms, with both the industrial and private sectors embracing the move to renewable energy sources.
The Australian government has helped to increase the number of businesses and private homes running on solar power with financial initiatives, as well as raising awareness of the benefits of renewable energy. Clearly, their efforts are working well, as the entire country is moving toward renewable sources - although there are still some issues to figure out in order to make the country 100% renewably powered. Despite this, it's clear that Australia is setting an example for the rest of the world. As Energy Change Institute Director Professor Ken Baldwin says:
Australian industry is proving it’s not difficult or expensive to make deep and rapid cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. All the evidence points to Australia’s capacity to be a renewable energy superpower, with all the economic and environmental benefits that come with that. We need Australia’s governments to put in place the right plans for the renewable energy train to have a smooth ride.
Of course, Australia definitely has some advantages when it comes to switching to renewable energy - not least of which is the weather! The sunny skies and vast deserts of this country make solar and wind power relatively easy to implement. That doesn't mean that it would necessarily be impossible for other countries to follow Australia's lead, even if they don't get the same kind of year-round sunshine, though - and it would be fantastic to see every country that signed the Paris Agreement making the same kind of major strides into preserving our planet.