Although the current political climate isn’t actively pushing sustainability, Australia is potentially still on track to meet our Paris Climate Agreement targets. According to new research by the Australian National University, it’s not because of radical government policies but rather individuals and businesses making the difference. The enthusiastic uptake of renewable technology in the private sector has wind and solar on track to make up 30% of the national energy mix by 2020.

Newer, cheaper technology appears to be attracting greater investment. “They [consumers and businesses] are just making purely economic decisions based on the fact that renewables are cheaper than coal-fired power plants, for example”, explained Professor Ken Baldwin. Upcoming projects assessed in the report will place Australia in good company as a leading nation in the production of green energy per capita.

It’s worth noting, electricity consumption isn’t the biggest contributor to Australia’s total emissions. Professor Baldwin added, “There are significant emissions from the transport sector, from heating for homes, to agriculture. And all of those are much harder to address in terms of climate change. So electricity is the low-hanging fruit,” These issues will need to be addressed in time but it’s incredible to see the Australian public embracing green energy, even if cost is still a motivating factor.

The report also highlights that if this trend continues, Australia’s total electricity consumption could be delivered via green energy by 2030. Read more of the ANU report highlights over at Hack.

SOURCES: ABC/Triple J Hack