May 3, 2018

Launching a Plan to Repower Australia – a faster and fairer path to a 100% clean-energy future



Environmental author and founder of Bill McKibben has today launched a Plan to Repower Australia, a new blueprint for transforming the nation’s electricity system to 100% clean energy by 2030.

The plan has been prepared by the Community Power Agency on behalf of six of the nation’s leading progressive climate and environment organisations working on the clean energy transition.

“The Plan to Repower Australia has the level of ambition required to rapidly slash pollution from Australia’s electricity sector, set the nation up as a clean energy export superpower and ensure all Australians can access affordable clean energy,” says lead report author and Community Power Agency Director, Nicky Ison.

Bill McKibben says, “The Federal Government does not have a plan.  What they have – the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and woefully inadequate pollution reduction targets – will lock in dirty coal for decades and stunt the growth of the clean energy sector at a time when Australia needs to turbo-charge its development.”  

“This report shows that civil society organisations continue to lead; formulating a plan that matches the scale of the challenge and the opportunity we are facing.”

Nicky Ison said “Australia has some of the best wind and solar resources in the world and technical capacity to meet its electricity needs with 100% clean energy by 2030, so let’s get on with it!”

Together the organisations behind the Plan to Repower Australia represent nearly 2 million Australians.   

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Quotes from organisations behind the Plan to Repower Australia:

“Clean energy is creating a better life for everyone. Millions of everyday Australians have been getting on with the job and generating clean energy straight from their rooftops, now it’s time for our politicians to catch-up and this plan sets out exactly how they can do that,” said Joseph Scales, National Director at Solar Citizens.

“Climate change threatens the natural world so many Australians love, from the Great Barrier Reef to our beautiful forests. Energy is the biggest source of climate pollution in Australia. Tackling climate change means we must urgently transition to clean energy. The Repower Plan shows us exactly how to do it.” ACF CEO, Kelly O’Shanassy, said.

“Burning coal is the biggest source of climate pollution in Australia. To play our part in avoiding the worst impacts of global warming, we need to urgently shift away from polluting coal and repower Australia with clean energy. This energy transition needs to come with plans to support affected workers and communities in achieving a just transition.” says Environment Victoria CEO, Mark Wakeham.

“Already, there are over 18,000 renewable energy jobs across Australia. Regional Australia can be a clean energy superpower, but only if our political leaders get behind the communities and businesses that are already leading the way. ,” Kate Smolski, CEO, Nature Conservation Council of NSW said.

“We must stand up for solutions that support people and communities, not big polluters. We all want to keep enjoying life on our beautiful planet – with abundant coral reefs, clean air and thriving communities.  That’s why we are proud to launch the Repower Australia Plan”, says Blair Palese CEO of Australia.

Paul Oosting, National Director of GetUp, says “Australia could be a renewable energy superpower. The only thing holding us back is the greedy power companies trying to lock us into old technology they control, and the politicians in their pockets. They are out of step with what Australians want, what science demands and what the rest of the world is already doing.

“People are ready for a safer future powered by clean energy. And we’re going to keep fighting for it until we get the job of repowering Australia done.”


About the plan

The Plan to Repower Australia was researched and written by the Community Power Agency and a team of experts on behalf of, Australian Conservation Foundation, GetUp!, Solar Citizens, Environment Victoria, and Nature Conservation Council of NSW. It sets out what we need to do to repower Australia with 100% renewable electricity.  Specifically it outlines that we need to rewrite the rules, repower with clean energy and replace the polluters.  A key focus of the plan includes policies that:

  1. Make Australia a renewable superpower by:
    1. Building large scale wind, solar and batteries through clean energy auctions
    2. Hunting out good renewable jobs through a Senate Inquiry into the clean energy supply chain
    3. Supporting industry to repower with clean energy and lower their energy bills in the process by establishing a Clean Energy Solutions Centre and reintroducing the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act
    4. Grow a renewable exports industry by developing Australia’s first national Renewable Exports Roadmap.
  2. Ensure affordable clean energy for all by:
    1. Establishing Landcare for clean energy – a Smart Energy Communities program that sees 50 Community Power Hubs created across Australia to provide impartial information, support community energy projects and deliver clean energy programs for renters and low-income households
    2. Work with Indigenous communities to co-design and implement an Indigenous Clean Power program
    3. Set minimum energy performance standards for rental properties so that nobody has to live in houses that are dangerously hot or cold
    4. Establish Power Access a public interest retailer and energy service company for low-income households.  Their remit should be to ensure bills go down, not up – and the best way to do that, is by providing access to clean energy.


About Bill McKibben

Environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of climate change. McKibben is a global leader in civil society’s response to climate change. In 2007, McKibben founded, a global grassroots movement that raises awareness of human-induced climate change and demands urgent action to slash pollution.

About Nicky Ison

Lead author of A Plan to Repower Australia. Ison is founding director of the Community Power Agency, strategist at Climate Action Network Australia, and research associate at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).