Skip to Main Content
The Australian electricity sector is expected to undergo major changes to reduce the current sectoral CO2 emission of 190 million tons to 96 million tons by 2050. This paper summarizes two major modeling studies that have been undertaken since 2006 to understand the full set of investment, price and financial impact on existing generators, especially coal-based generators. We have used a long-term capacity and dispatch optimization model to comprehensively analyze both least-cost and market-led expansion of the system to accommodate alternative emission reduction targets from a shallow cut to a deep cut. The modeling results demonstrate the cost of meeting the target can be over $30 billion in NPV terms. A mix of clean coal technologies, gas and nuclear technologies is expected to displace the existing stock of conventional coal which varies significantly depending on the emission reduction target. The analysis also show that mandatory renewable targets or technology standards are inefficient policies in comparison to a market-based policy such as the proposed emissions trading scheme.
Date of Publication: May 2010