According to Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy, nuclear power has never been part of Australia’s energy mix because it has enough renewable resources.

“I’m not here to tell other countries what to do. Nuclear power plays a role in the mix of different countries, but never in Australia,” Chris Bowen told CNBC on the sidelines of the G20 energy ministers’ meeting in Goa, India.

“Everywhere you look, there are problems with nuclear power from our perspective,” he said, outlining the problems that can come from adopting nuclear power.

In addition to being extremely expensive, it creates a lot of waste and is an inflexible source of energy, he told CNBC. Sri Jegarajah On Saturday.

In addition, Australia will be starting from “worse than zero” because it never had a nuclear industry in the first place, he said.

Liddell Power Station, one of Australia’s oldest coal-fired power stations, was decommissioned on 28 April 2023 after 52 years of operation.

Roni Bintang | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Australia is also on track to reduce its reliance on coal and instead increase its reliance on gas.

“Gas plays an important role in consolidating the grid because coal is leaving the grid… We have a lot of negative prices in Australia during the day and yet coal plants are declining,” he said, stressing that gas plants are more flexible and can be switched on and off.

Earth closed one of its oldest coal-fired power plants in April and in 2025 the operation of another will stop.

“They’re not going to be replaced by coal power, that’s just not going to happen,” Bowen said. “It’s not economical, it’s not in the future and the emissions are bad.”

Renewable energy is the way

To keep the lights on, Australia will need to “double down” on its investment in renewable energy, storage and transmission, an Australian minister has said.

“We have such abundant renewable resources…Vladimir Putin can’t turn off the sun or the wind, [but] he can shut down the pipeline,” Bowen said, referring to the Russian president, who has cut gas supplies to Europe in retaliation against Western sanctions imposed as a result of the unprovoked war in Ukraine.

“For countries that are blessed with abundant renewable resources, harnessing those renewables, increasing their share of our energy mix, and then exporting as much as possible at the right time is also critical to national security.”

Australia’s renewable energy sector has been steadily improving over the past few years.

Renewable energy accounted for 35.9% of the country’s total electricity generation in 2022, more than double what it was in 2017 (16.9%), the country’s report said. Clean Energy Council.

Greater pressure on renewables has reduced demand for coal. The share of coal production fell from 59.1% in 2021 to 54.6% in 2022, but gas production increased by 1.2% in 2022 compared to a year earlier, the report said.

Wind turbines are seen on the hills around Lake George, located near the Australian capital Canberra on May 30, 2023.

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Bowen said Australia needed more investment to reach its zero targets and this could be done if each sector was assessed individually.

“Sector-by-sector plans are important for Australia because each sector is so different,” he said. “We need the government’s view on how this decarbonisation is likely to happen so we know where to focus our investment.”

He said there was only so much the government could do and investment from Australian businesses was badly needed.

“I was surprised by the level of support and engagement from Australian businesses – large and small and from international investors.”

Asked what Australia wanted to bring to November’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai, Bowen said “this COP has to be a step forward in global ambition”.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us. And we will be at the table and we will deal with countries of goodwill to try to get the best possible outcome,” he added.

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