A new report from the Australia Institute has found that the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will be the first jurisdiction outside of Europe to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity.
The report found that globally, just seven other jurisdictions with populations over 100,000 have transitioned to 100 per cent renewable electricity.
While there are some jurisdictions who have achieved 100 per cent renewable energy based on historic investment in hydroelectricity, the ACT will join a select few to have made the transition from a fossil fuel-dominated energy system.
In the report, the Australia Institute noted that “the ACT shows how substantial progress can be made when a government is willing to exercise leadership, formulate smart policy and communicate it effectively to its constituents.”
ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, said that the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy is an achievement that highlights the Territory’s standing as the national leader in action against climate change.
“Despite the tedious inaction and political posturing at the Federal level on renewable energy investment, the ACT Government has demonstrated what is possible with smart planning and investments in sustainable energy sources.
“Reaching our 100 per cent renewable energy target is a significant moment, but more needs to be done and I can guarantee Canberrans that this Government will continue to invest more to protect our natural environment and reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources.”
ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury, said, “Canberrans have been clear – they want to us to act in the interests of people and planet.
“The ACT is recognised as a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has some of the most ambitious emission reduction targets of any jurisdiction in the world.
“Through our world-leading transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity, we have demonstrated that our bold leadership can create opportunities for our region, in business development, training and education.
“Aside from delivering clean, green sources of electricity, our 100 per cent renewable electricity target has attracted more than $500 million over 20 years in low carbon investment in the ACT.”
The Australia Institute’s recent Climate of the Nation Report surveyed 1960 Australians and found over two thirds (69 per cent) agree that State and Territory Governments should be putting in place incentives for more renewable energy.
The report comes days after the ACT Government announced its next major tranche of climate action, and news of a reverse auction that will deliver large-scale battery storage right here in the ACT.