RENEWABLES will account for 40% of global energy mix, more than individual fossil fuel energy sources, and Australia is in a prime position to leap ahead of the rest of the world and claim the crown of world’s largest hydrogen producer exporter according to the latest World Energy Outlook released from by the International Energy Agency.
The 2018 annual forecast revealed that renewables, including hydrogen produced from solar, will overtake coal and other fossil fuels by 2040 to account for more than 40% of the global energy mix under the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario.
In power markets, renewables have become the technology of choice, making up almost two-thirds of global capacity additions to 2040, thanks to falling costs and supportive government policies.
This is transforming the global power mix, with the share of renewables in generation rising to over 40% by 2040, from 25% today, even though coal remains the largest source and gas remains the second-largest.
Over the last 12 months wind and solar alone accounted for nearly half of all new capacity.
However it is hydrogen that the authority identified could potentially be one of Australia's biggest opportunities for expansion, if hydrogen infrastructure was developed in conjunction with solar and wind plants.
According to the report, developed counties with a high level of resources could provide nearly 100 million tonnes of oil equivalent of hydrogen - which would be the same output as 3% of global gas consumption today.
The authority's attention to hydrogen mirrors sentiments from Australia's chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, who says hydrogen exports could be a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Australia.
The IEA used a Sustainable Development Scenario, which took into consideration changing government policies in response to the Paris Agreement and climate change reduction measures undertaken by world leaders in the development of the outlook.
"Our analysis shows that over 70% of global energy investments will be government-driven and as such the message is clear; the world's energy destiny lies with government decisions," IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol said.
"Stable support policy frameworks help drive down costs, in turn providing for increasing policy support while maintaining energy affordability."
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Source: Energy News Bulletin