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Canberra at the centre of a renewable energy superpower

A climate change think-tank's report says Australia is on the forefront of a renewable energy era and forecasts the nation to become an economic superpower if it capitalises on its natural energy sources.

Beyond Zero Emission CEO Stephen Bygrave said the global economy will be changing over the next few decades as the world transitions to an energy sector less reliant on fossil fuel energies.

"In a world where we're not burning coal, oil and gas our economies will be based on renewable energy and the research we've done shows that Australia is consistently in the top three countries globally that have the best renewable energy resources," he said.

Mr Bygrave said the economic projections by the International Energy Agency illustrate how rapidly the investment in renewable energy is growing.

"In 2013 the investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency was about $US350 billion, that's going to grow to about $US750 billion by 2020 and then it's going to expediently grow to about $US2300 billion by 2030."

"It's big money and the report shows that Australia is perfectly positioned to be a part of that investment boom," he said.

Australia's environmental landscape is well positioned for a renewable energy era, and Mr Bygrave said the nation's capitalisation of the sector comes down to sensible governmental policy.

"The report points to the failure of energy market reform in leading to an escalation in electricity and gas prices, and the range of barriers that still exist in the energy market to facilitate the growth of renewable energy from both a network perspective and a regulatory perspective."

In a move which provides tangible process of the transition, Australia was one of nearly 200 counties to sign the Paris climate accord on Friday. An enthusiastic global commitment to limit global warming by at least two degrees and scale up efforts to cut carbon pollution over time.

"Today, Australia joins the rest of the world in signing the Paris Agreement. We will begin our process to ratify the Agreement immediately and will seek to ratify this year," Environment Minister Greg Hunt said.

Mr Hunt said Australia would begin work to ratify the agreement immediately.

The ACT Environment and Climate Change Minister Simon Corbell said the capital's approach to renewable energy was proof the decarbonisation transition was possible.

"The ACT's success in fast approaching our own 90 per cent renewable energy target shows a 100 per cent renewable energy target could be entirely achievable."

The territory government estimates there will be more than $400 million in local investment benefits in renewable energy over the next 20 years and more than $1.5 billion in infrastructure development.

"As an early adopter of renewable energy skills and technology, Canberra is well positioned to be at the forefront of Australia's transition to renewable energy," said Mr Corbell.

Source: The Canberra Times

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