The Australian Energy Market Operator’s latest integrated system plan (ISP) sets out a pathway for a sustainable electricity grid based on a rapid transition to renewable energy.

AEMO’s plan does not envisage any role for nuclear in Australia’s energy future.

“The market operator’s modelling shows a renewable-powered grid is the most efficient and affordable energy option for Australia,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s energy campaigner Ella Factor.

“The report wipes out any business case for baseload power in our grid’s long-term future and provides more evidence we don’t need to waste time, money or hot air on nuclear.

“Nuclear is baseload power, so cannot compete on cost with the cheap energy one-in-three Australian households are already getting from the sun.

“AEMO finds the rollout of home batteries, if it’s well coordinated, could save energy consumers around $4.1 billion in avoided costs for additional investment in the grid.

“Greater integration of household renewables as an essential part of the energy transition.

“Concerningly, though, AEMO’s ‘most likely’ scenario would put us on a pathway to 2° of warming by the end of this century – a disastrous scenario that would destroy the Great Barrier Reef and condemn Australians to much worse bushfires, droughts and extremes than now.

“It’s up to governments to show leadership and and develop further policies to get Australia onto the 1.5° Paris-aligned trajectory.

“The plan’s acceptance of ongoing gas use is disappointing, as gas is a highly polluting fuel. But the plan advocates for flexible gas generation only – peaking power, not baseload – so we don’t waste our carbon budget on needlessly burning fossil fuels, or waste renewable energy because a baseload power can’t afford to turn off when it’s not needed.

“AEMO’s report confirms the path Australia is on is the lowest cost way to replace coal and makes it clear we don’t need to entertain a future that includes expensive, risky nuclear,” Ms Factor said.

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