If we replaced all the fossil fuelled power stations of the Australian National Electricity Market by commercially available renewable energy systems, how reliable would the renewable electricity supply system be?
What would be the respective costs of the 100% renewable energy system, an efficient fossil fuelled system and fossil fuelled systems with hypothetical carbon capture and storage and under what conditions would 100% renewable energy systems break-even with the various fossil fuelled systems?
What are the greenhouse gas emissions from each scenario? Research at UNSW has addressed all these questions by performing hourly computer simulations spanning (so far) one year, using actual hourly electricity demand, hourly weather data on wind and sunshine, and a projection of technology costs and fuel prices by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics. The results are encouraging for a renewable energy future, both in terms of reliability and economics.
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