With technology changing at a dizzying rate, no one can predict exactly what our energy needs will be in 2030 and beyond.
To help policy makers and those in the energy supply chain respond to an uncertain energy future, ATCO commissioned independent research: WA’s Energy Future report.
The report models four possible energy market scenarios.
When preparing WA’s Energy Future Report, three key factors were considered:
- Energy policy – as a signatory to the 2016 Paris Agreement, Australia has pledged to reduce carbon emissions and it is shaping national and state policy.
- Technological change – decarbonisation is driving innovation. Future plans must be flexible enough to adapt to technological change
- Customer behaviour – from solar panels to smart technology, customers have never been more empowered about how and when they consume power.
Four likely energy scenarios
WA’s Energy Future Report models four possible future energy scenarios for WA, on a sliding scale towards meeting the Paris Agreement emissions targets.
Scenario 1 – Continuation of current trends
Things continue as they are. After the carbon tax changes, Federal and State Governments are reluctant to support market-based climate tools. As the population grows, demand for gas grows. Households embrace solar, however Australia doesn’t meet its Paris commitments.
Scenario 2 – Decarbonisation partially pursued
Government makes a partial push to reduce carbon emissions. As industry switches from coal-fired to gas-fired generated electricity, demand for gas rises dramatically.
Scenario 3 – Decarbonisation actively pursued
Government takes action to meet our Paris commitments. Policy supports the uptake of renewables, and companies like ATCO invest in infrastructure to carry low emission gases like hydrogen.
Scenario 4 – Technology drives disruption
Think Elon Musk’s mega-battery in South Australia. Homes generate and store their own power, the gas distribution network invests serious capital to convert to hydrogen.
The future for gas
In every scenario, modelling shows gas will remain integral to WA’s energy future.
There is a continued need to invest in the existing gas network to ensure it can meet the growth in connections and consumption, while building the foundation for a clean energy future with a shift to low emission gases like biogas and hydrogen.
The aim of the four scenarios is not to predict the future, but to stimulate thinking and discussion between customers, policy makers and energy suppliers.
ATCO are committed to the long-term success of WA and want to ensure everyone has access to a safe, reliable and affordable energy supply – whatever the future brings.