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Australia Could Reach 85 Percent Renewables by 2050

Rhys Clay's picture
Local Energy Solar

After working as a consultant in the emerging solar industries of South-East Asia, Rhys has branched out on his, helping to launch Renewable Energy business, specializing in solar leasing. With a...

  • Member since 2018
  • 12 items added with 5,712 views
  • Nov 13, 2012


The Australian government has finally released it’s long-awaited energy white paper, stating that renewable energy sources could provide up to 40 percent of Australia’s energy needs by 2035 and 85 percent by 2050. The plan also goes as far as to virtually eliminating coal-fired power stations over this time period as well.

The focus of the white paper strongly centers on how natural gas and renewable energy need to develop in the coming decades in order to offset coal supply. It is estimated that this transformation from coal dependency to renewable energy would require over A$200 billion of investment in new power stations and infrastructure, of which up to 50% may be dedicated to renewable sources.

A further emphasis of the white paper is placed on the need for smart power demand management – a welcome change from the infrastructure ‘gold-plating’ mechanisms employed by network owners in the past and primarily responsible for dramatic energy price increases.

Unfortunately the Australian government has been unable to shake it’s fixation with carbon capture and storage (CCS). Modelling for the proposed 85% by 2050 scenario sees fossil fuels (with CCS) contributing 29%, large-scale solar 16%, wind energy and rooftop solar 13% each with geothermal, hydroelectric and bioenergy making up the rest.

The real surprise here in my opinion is rooftop solar. Under the original Renewable Energy Target, small-scale solar was not expected to even rank in the energy mix of 2020. Interestingly, the white paper actually notes that “few could have predicted the dramatic reduction in solar PV costs that has occurred over the past few years”.  With installed costs of small-scale solar falling up to 50% over the past year and showing no sign of slowing it’s easy to see how rooftop solar could become a major player in the future.

Despite the significant gains in renewable energy over the past decade, the energy focus for Australia’s future remains natural gas. Launching the paper in Melbourne last week, energy minister Martin Ferguson said he wants Australia to develop one of the “biggest gas markets in the world” and invest hundreds of billions into export terminals.

Pacific Hydro general manager for Australia, Lane Crockett stated that the white paper was vital in creating Australia’s energy future “Renewable energy provides a significant opportunity for Australia and it’s great to see this visioning document outline the opportunity for 85 percent clean energy by 2050,” he said. “Ensuring certainty is central to attracting investment and in transforming our energy market to one that is much cleaner,” he added.

Australia’s renewable energy industry welcomed the white paper, but the Green party objected to the government’s plans to develop the gas market.

Australian Greens leader, Senator Christine Milne, said Ferguson has been “dragged out of his comfort zone here, but his dirty fingerprints are all over the white paper.”

In a statement Milne noted:

“Primarily, the white paper confirms that renewable energy can power all of Australia within decades, a reality being modelled by the Australian Energy Market Operator thanks to the Greens’ carbon price negotiations — but has been shunted aside here with a dash for gas and a vision of fossil-fuels still polluting our atmosphere out to 2050 and beyond”.

Image: PV Panels via Shutterstock

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Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on Nov 13, 2012

And at the next election, with a change of government color, this paper will become obsolete and be replaced by something else, maybe more coal plants and natural gas backup fuelcells.

Rhys Clay's picture
Rhys Clay on Nov 14, 2012

Very true, the liberal party seems even more obsessed with Carbon Capture.

Geoff Sherrington's picture
Geoff Sherrington on Nov 15, 2012

Australia could also travel to the moon by 2050, but the real guts of the matter is "Why?" Every study I helped write and every competent study I have read shows your options to be horribly costly. If they were any good, business would have adopted them long ago.

If you want to make a progressive mark on society, concentrate your effort of getting a viable nuclear power generation industry operating in Australia. Not many experienced experts (as oposed to self-appointed ones) would disagree with that suggestion.


I read your proposasl above as ways for you to hop in fast and make a quid before selling out to others who take the losses on failure. Correct?

Marijan Pollak's picture
Marijan Pollak on Nov 16, 2012

Using my WindSolars they could have 100% green and cheap electricity by 2020 or sooner and lose no agricultural land either.

Marijan Pollak's picture
Marijan Pollak on Nov 16, 2012

Mr. Sherrington, in case Your remark was addresed to me, I must assure You that in my country 1 MW  of capacity would cost 1 million € and since my Solars would work 24/365 they would  produce 8760 MW per year which would have market value of 150 € per MW or total 1,314,000 €, which means if my WindSolars are used as captive power plants, they pay themselves back much sooner than year is over. After this electricity is, in principle, free, save for expenses of running the plant, maintenance and repair. So, how You imagine there would be loses or failure? 

Business could not adopt what is not being developed, and some inventions could be developed only when there is technology by which they could be produced cheap enough, or at all. Then inventor should have knowledge about such technology and would be able to analyse existing technology to notice existing problems and see that such problems could be removed if things would be done differently. Inventor should be ready to check and test all Laws and formulas, as well as think about known anomalies or things that puzzle students and for which honest Proffesors would admit that they do not know why it is so, just that it is found to be so and that people exploit this.

I am not talking about Solars here, but about my new and 400% more effective wind turbines.

Perhaps You know about Venturi Efect, Coanda Efect, Centrifugal Force and Reactive Force. Since some claim that Centrifugal Force do not actually exist, many have dismissed it and in spite of this some found the way to harness it in centrifuges. If it could be used or if its effects on wings or blades of Windpower Stations is evident, how anyone can say it is "imaginary/not real"?

Reactive force is totally misterious as it is equall but opposite to Force applied....

From where this force comes?

We use it in rockets and airoplanes newertheless.

We know that air is speed up in Venturi pipe and that was explained as energy conservation or inertia of movement, but it has one side effect, that pressure drops that much more, faster is the flow.

So when I explained I would use Venturi Effect to speed up air flow inside my turbine, people started to explain to me that I would have drop in pressure and that is why my turbine would not work.

Since I understood that this drop in pressure is caused by directing random flow of moleculas in the air in same direction as main air flow, my logical conclusion was that I would get surplus energy, which was later confirmed by CFD analyse as total air flow was increased in speed behind my turbine, 3% at least. Next, as I did my best to remove drags inside and on surface of my turbine, all energy entering it was concetrated in jets of accelerated air exiting turbine, and for that I was told that then efficiency of my turbine would be near zero. They forgot Reactive Force, of course, and this is what actually turns my turbine, without spending any energy of Wind. Since air flow inside of turbine coincide with direction in which Centrifugal Force is pushing mass of air, faster turbine turns and stronger Centrifugal Force is, more it push air out of turbine.

I noticed even one purely relativistic process inside turbine, since it is turning in oposite direction to air flow direction trough its Air Chambers, so faster it turns, from standpoint of Air Chambers air is passing trough them faster, and since they have acceleration of air as main function (on Venturi Principle), that would accelerate air still more, or at least its speed from standpoint of air chambers increase just like faster air is going trough Veturi Pipe standing still.

Then Proffesors told me that it is not possible to get more than 59.5% of energy out of turbine because Betz Law state so.

They forgot that acording to formula of "Extractable" Kinetic Energy from Wind even on 100% efficient turbine it is possible to get only 50% of energy extracted, and since such turbine do not exist, then all less effective turbines can extract only less energy, therefore it is not possible to get 59.5% even on "Ideal turbine with countless blades" that is postulated by Mr. Betz, and for which I believe that it is impossible and if possible it would not be able to work since there would be no space left between blades for air to pass..... Number of suppositions concerning Betz turbine are plainly missing, first being blades which my turbines do not have, therefore I claimed that my turbine is extempt from Betz Law, and moreover simple test on extremes show incorect results in Betz Formula.

So Mr. Sherrington, untill someone challenged such old and sacrosant Law that is mathematically correct but not logically, (because Mr. Betz used formula for "extractable" Kinetic energy on entrance and exit of turbine, where on exit we have to know exactly how much Kinetic energy remained in the wind, NOT how much of this energy could be extracted/used, else it looks that turbine has extracted more energy from wind than it actually is) and used all known but not wholy explained paradoxical forces and make them to work in unison producing synergistic and even relativistic effects, there could have not been such "impossible" turbine that seemingly produce energy out of "Thin Air" (pun intended) and so it cannot have been used in industry, right?

Similarily while I noticed that CSP Solars waste huge amount of energy and that they cannot work more than 20 hours per day, it seems to me that nobody have solution to this problem. I was lucky to have been receiving special education from chilhood and was working in Housebuilding company and Institute for Atomic, Biological and Chemical Research "Rudjer Boskovic" in my home town, and that was blessed with good memory and have inventor for a father, as all this factors contributed to my creation of  new CSP Solars and this "impossible" turbine.

Perhaps someone else was thinking along same lines as me, but if that person did nothing to realize such turbine and CSP Solar, then nobody could know about it, or if that person got brainwashed into believing in Betz Limit, and could not remember other formula for "extractable Kinetic energy from wind" or have known about anomalies such as Centrifugal Force and Reactive Force but have had no imagination developed to harness them together, or did not have had wide knowledge from various fields, then such person would not even attempt to think about something so "impossible", and then how would such tings be in use allready?

I was inventing and improving WPSs for 30 years as a hobby, so all this was not just invented overnight.

I do not intend to make "Fast buck" as You would do perhaps, since You are thinking this way, I realized how could Global Warming be stopped and reversed using cheap electricity, and as Econnomist I know how to maximize profit in production as that was my specialty before retirement.  As Systems Analyst and Systems Engineer, I am trained in Systems thinking, and as Computer Programmer I was trained in meticulous work, specially since it was in time when bugs in programs were not fashionable and one bug could cost one ones career as programmer, ireversibly .

So, I would say nobody before was in such position to invent WindSolars of same type, eve if some attempted using WPSs and PV plates together under same name.

So, I know how Global Financial Crisis could be solved by starting production of my WindSolars, which would bring employment to people and also profit to investors.

Once I sell Production Licenses and production of WindSolars starts in all countries, profit from WindSolars sold and Electricity sold or electricity price saved would belong to investors, not me.

I have many ideas that I would later finance myself up to starting of production, such as desalination plants or water-from-air installations on agricultural level, WindSolar Skyscrappers, installations that would productively do Carbon Capture and Storage producing usefull and marketable products and bringing Carbon Credits to country, using my Solar concentrator units for metal meltinh, bricks and ceramic baking, makonng desihner cars using Rapid Protozyping machines, building houses impervious to earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, and so on and so forth.......

Regards from Croatia, the homeland of great inventor from 19th and 20th century, Engineer Nikola Tesla!

Marijan Pollak




Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Nov 17, 2012

Here's the government info page:

It includes a power point presentation.  And here is a tool that lets the user graph out the system optimization outcome with different assumptions about the desired energy system:

The remarkable thing is that in order reduce emissions, they have assumed a carbon tax of $23/ ton of CO2 initially, rising to $143/ton in 2050 (a huge amount, sufficient to add $0.14/kWh to regular coal power).

They have also assumed that solar PV would be cheaper (for levelized cost) than wind and nuclear by 2050.  But even so, their optimization does not produce a predominantly solar powered grid.  A good amount of nuclear earns its way onto the grid unless forbidden by policy directive.  And fossil fuel with carbon capture appears strongly in the results if nuclear is not allowed.

Jesse Parent's picture
Jesse Parent on Nov 17, 2012

We'lll have to see how Australia plays out. White papers and what happens in reality can sometimes have a wide margin between them...

Marijan Pollak's picture
Marijan Pollak on Nov 17, 2012

Mr. Wilson, kindly read my previous post.

My WindSolars would work 24/365 and would be able to produce double capacity or more at peak consumption periods. With their cheap electricity (under 10€ per MW) it is possible to purge exhaust of existing coal/oil fired plants and get paid for service while producing useful and marketable products such as Electrographite and Oxygen.

So, there is no need to impose any changes to electricity pricing, and sooner or later it would become uneconmical to use coal when capacity of available WindSolars would be sufficient to supply all electricity that is 100% clean and cheaper than one produced from coal.

As I wrote my WindSolars would need no backup of any kind, they would perserve or even create new agricultural land and protect it from strong wind and rains, snow, hail and frost.

They would be able to work on or off Grid, therefore would save even on long distance transmission lines costs and loses of produced electricity would be avoided also.

Any country could start production of my Windsolar with investment in range 100 million € or my WindSolar Skyscrappers for about 150 million €, which would include cost of Production License, tools and moulds for production of parts and subasemblies/subsystems and cost of building one WindSolar or WindSolar Skyscrapper, first of which would of course be captive plants for factories producing parts and subsystems.

There would be no need for feed in tariff either as there would be eonough profit even if electricity is paid just half market price by Grid, because first users would be factories that could then lower price of their products and still make more profit than before.

Furthermore, with mass productions of most expensive susystems such as Steam generators, Steam Turbines and electricity generators, price would considerably drop, so then even 1MW units would be affordable and economic, and then perhaps 10-50 households could have their own WindSolar  which would be still more distributed power supply.

As I wrote, Australia could have 100% clean and renewable electricity supply by 2020 or sooner.

I need 20 million € to start production in my country, and Investor would get Production License at non auctioned price, where invested amount would be subtracted ftom such price, with further 10% discount and priority at ordering tools, moulds and all necesary to start production in own country, and same for future orders for enlarging production since demand would rise exponentially.

So kindly inform anybody who may be interested to invest money. Investor would be protected as money would stay in same country on account with On-Line Banking sevice provided and co signature from me and Investor on each payment, so investor could see how money is used and results of each step of my plan also. Since first step would be testing of prototypes to prove that concept work and patenting of inventions, Investor would have no risk with invested money, and in case we would need special machines, country of Investor would have priority to be supplier of such machines or tools.

Regards from Croatia, the homeland of Engineer Nikola Tesla!

Marijan Pollak


Simon Friedrich's picture
Simon Friedrich on Nov 17, 2012
The assumption that bioenergy is a low greenhouse emitting fuel is mistaken. Bioenergy boilers are less efficient than fossil boilers. Therefore, the former emit more greenhouse gases per unit of energy delivered. Also, the greenhouse gas emissions from all liquid transportation fuels (including advanced biofuels) are approximately the same per unit of energy delivered. Displacing fossil fuels with biofuels on a global scale will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will adversely impact both land and water use, resulting in reduced resources for optimum atmospheric carbon sequestration by photosynthesis.
Simon Friedrich's picture
Simon Friedrich on Nov 17, 2012

The assumption that bioenergy is a low greenhouse emitting fuel is mistaken. Bioenergy boilers are less efficient than fossil boilers. Therefore, the former emit more greenhouse gases per unit of energy delivered. Also, the greenhouse gas emissions from all liquid transportation fuels (including advanced biofuels) are approximately the same per unit of energy delivered. Displacing fossil fuels with biofuels on a global scale will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will adversely impact both land and water use, resulting in reduced resources for optimum atmospheric carbon sequestration by photosynthesis.    


Marijan Pollak's picture
Marijan Pollak on Nov 18, 2012

I agree 100%. Please delete post with garbage included.........

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Nov 19, 2012

This sounds like a scam.  If you have discovered something this important, that thousands of other people working in the same industry have overlooked, then that is an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  

I suggest you fund the prototype yourself (the nice thing about wind and solar systems is that they are scalable to large or small sizes), then seek investors for comercialization.  

I think the patent office (at least in the US) will ask about "reduction to practice", i.e. when did you actually build the thing.

Marijan Pollak's picture
Marijan Pollak on Nov 19, 2012

Mr. Wilson, I keep testing and checking results of fomulas I use, which most people donot do, holding them all 100% correct, which is not the case allways, and many times while book was prepared for print some ommisions could happen or something may be mistyped. In addition sometimes formula could be mathematically correct while it is logically incorect. So for instance Betz formula cannot pass test on extrames nor it give correct results for known data. I have found that formula for "Extactable Kinetic energy from Wind" states that even on 100% effective wind turbine we canot get more tan 50% of energy out, reason being that in such turbine air has to stand still behind turbine and so present obstacle to wind that has to pass after. So Wind has to borrow half of difference in energy to air behind turbine and so in this case it is 50%, so just 50% is left for extraction in spite of 100% eficient turbine. Therefore maximum extractable ennergy ought to be just 50%, and Betz Law stated limit is 59.3%.

Mistake was in applying formula for "Exdtractable" Kinetic energy on inlet and outlet, where we have to know how much energy remained in the air, NOT how much of it we could still extract. Therefore it was looking as turbine extracted more than it actually have.

Next, if there should be 50% of energy left in air on outlet, then air speed cannot be less than slifgtly over 70% of original wind speed for 100% effective turbine, and on turbines with lower eficiency more energy would remain in the air flow, so air speed could only be greater, right? Therefoe values of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 of original speed of air are impossible, IMHO. So Betz formula should be scrapped.

I have also corrected formula for "Extractable" Kinetic energy of Wind, as in its present form it represent absolute maximum, and actual extractable energy is depending on efficiency of turbine and could be calculated if energy on inlet is calculated as it should be as m(ass) * v(elocity) squared, and result muliplied by efficiency coefficient of turbine divided by 2.

We could also calculate apparent efficiency using same formula for calculating energy of air flow on inlet Ei and on outlet Eo and then divide Eo by Ei and subtract result ftom 1.0 

So for instance 80% efficient (or 0.8 coeficient) turbine would leave 60% of energy unused, which divided by 100% gives 0.6 and subtracted from 1.0 gives 0,4, which esult we have to multiply by 2 to get actual efficiency of turbine, which is 0.8, and that is as we see correct result from which we started.

So, if You check what I wrote and find it correct, I could the explain how and why my turbine could use all Kinetic Energy that enters it, as this formula for Extractable Kinetic Energy has some asumptions such as continuous flow of air in same direction and fixed position of outlet from turbine.

Moreover, my turbine is purely reactional turbine and do not use but just redirect flow of air trouhg it, and at same time it speed it up on Venturi Principle, which process is augumented by Centrifugal Force that my turbine is harnessing as well. So redirected and accelerated air exit trough nozzles that turn with turbine, and that misterious force of Reaction is one that actually turns turbine. I have done my best to minimize or eliminate drags inside and on outside oif turbine, so loses are minimal, I would say under 1% and therefore 99+% of energy that entered turbine also exit trough nozzles.

Since Reactive Force is equall to force applied, it turns turbine with same energy without spending any.

Now, thanks for Your advice, but since my Business Bank collapsed and have taken all my "Liquid Assets" down the drain, and at same time made insolvent my clients who kept money in same Bank, who theretore filled for Bankruptcy and liquidated their companies leaving big bills for goods and services unpaid, I was forced to mortgage my property to pay vendors, which unfortunately was not enough and one of them (AMEX COMPANY CARD organization)  was not paid so they choose to block my Bank accounts in spite of me being their perfect client for 25 years till then, and eatninf them much greater money per year then debt that remained unpaid, Since my government do not accept as vendors companies that were blocked even single day, I lost more clients and representativeship of one German company as well, and that canceled negotiatios in progress in a deal where I could have recouped all my loses........

Therefore I simply have no money as I am retired for health reasons as well, and Bank is taking my disability pension for mortgage rates..

All investors react like You, saying "it is too good to be true" or that it is all so simple so ANYBODY could have invented that, so must be that reason why it is not already in use is surely some HUGE FLAW in my thinking, and experts on WPSs  invoke Betz Law infalibly and terefore proclaim that it is NOT possible to make such things as my turbines.

So in the end I did my job and analysed Betz Law to find it logicaly incorect. 

I also constructed new WPSs that would work in groups, using just force of wind for all necesary work and protection of whole system, and new kind of Solar Concentrator based on Fresnel Lenses, which is stationary and require no Heliostat, wehere I joined them to make PS independent of any backup, with even Greenhouses built in, so land would be preserved for growing the food or even new could be created on previously barren ground as well.

I am Systems Analyst and Systems Engineer, Proffesional Problem Solver and Ecconomist, with rare talent to spot cause of problem and knowledge wide enough to fast find solution.

Therefore I noticed how CSP Solars have obvious problems which preclude them from working more than 20 hours per day, where there is simple solution , but not possible without new Solar Concentrators.

More I cannot tell You since it is all in process of patenting, but I shall reveal all to investors who can see that they would get 90% profit from all at least, provided they sign some NDA clauses first..........

Now, do You still. have same opinion or perhaps I proved to You that I am able to do it and know what I am doing?

Are You perhaps in position to invest money?  

Regards from Croatia, the homeland of Engineer Nikola Tesla!


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