How Australia’s coal country past is scuppering its renewable energy future

Excerpt from theconversation.com

The crucial climate change summit in Glasgow has just begun, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is bringing his widely criticised plan for net-zero emissions by 2050 to the negotiating table.

Released last week, the plan promises to deliver deep cuts to Australia’s greenhouse-gas emissions by relying on new technology, while eschewing taxes and mandates. As the Grattan Institute warned this week, this will fail unless the government rolls out other market-based policies too, including better plans to use already existing low-emissions technology for vehicles and energy.

The priority technologies identified in the plan include clean hydrogen, ultra low-cost solar, energy storage, low-emissions steel and aluminium, and carbon capture and storage.

But the plan is scant on detail and long-term thinking. It provides support for technology only in the early stages of research and development, not sustained support throughout the commercialisation process.