Energy transition refers to the shift in reliance on fossil-based energy sources such as coal, crude oil, etc. for alternative renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric power, etc. The availability of different energy sources and the negative impacts of fossil fuels on the environment has led to increased awareness among countries, organizations, and individuals. This awareness has led to personal decisions such as where an individual decides to go for a hybrid vehicle instead of one running on petrol. Many companies and organizations om their part also considers going green as part of their social responsibility, and they employ the best practices to ensure energy conservation in their processes. However, where energy transition is most significant is on the governmental level. Many countries have domestic energy transition programs, or they co-sign to international treaties on energy transition. It is believed that a structural change in the energy system directly from the top is the best way to ensure a successful transition and create a more sustainable environment.
With renewable energy been adopted as an alternative, the expected result is a reduction in the emission of CO2, which should also limit climate change. Since fossil fuels are a major culprit in the emission of carbon, decarbonisation of the energy sector on a global scale, coupled with energy efficiency will ensure that effects of climate change are kept at bay.
Australia is also heavily involved in energy transition efforts with experts predicting that the country may be one to perform the fastest energy transition in the world. This prediction is premised on the growing investment in renewable energy projects such as high capacity solar and wind farms across the country. Already, solar and wind generate 46.5% of total energy consumption.
At the moment, the country relies heavily on coal and gas-powered generators for most of its energy. However, this reliance will soon be replaced with renewable energy as the energy transition process is scheduled to be complete by 2040 when the gas and coal-powered generators would be retired. However, it is highly likely that the country may not have to wait that long before it completes its energy transition. At the moment, the country has renewable pipeline made up of projects in the initial and advanced stages with the Capacity of 102 GW. Most of the projects are wind farms and solar photovoltaic installations. These two have been identified as the major drivers of the energy transformation plans. With improved efficiency and reduction in module costs, there can only be a significant increase in investments in this sector.
Energy transition comes with a lot of benefits, mostly for the environment with the reduction in emissions. But this is not all; it also means higher energy efficiency and conservation. To cope with the massive expansion in available energy once the renewable energy sources become fully functional, there is need for investment into improving grid infrastructure so that it can support renewable energy on such a large scale.