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Simulating low-carbon electricity supply for Australia

Manfred Lenzen, Bonnie McBain, Ted Trainer, Silke Jütte, Olivier Rey-Lescure and Jing Huang

Applied Energy, 2016, vol. 179, issue C, 553-564

Abstract: We offer a simulation of low-carbon electricity supply for Australia, based on currently and economically operating technologies and proven resources, contributing new knowledge by: featuring a GIS-based spatial optimisation process for identifying suitable generator locations; including expanded transmission networks; covering the entire continent; and investigating the significance of biofuel availability and carbon price. We find that nation-wide low-carbon electricity supply is possible at about 160GW installed capacity, at indicative cost of around 20¢/kWh, involving wind, concentrating solar, and PV utilities, and less than 20TWh of biofuelled generation. Dispatchable hydro and biofuel plants are required to plug gaps caused by occasional low-resource periods. Technology and cost breakthroughs for storage, geothermal, and ocean technologies, as well as offshore wind deployment would substantially alter our assessment.

Keywords: Electricity generation simulation; Renewable energy; Transmission network extension; Low-carbon power (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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