A new report from the Grattan Institute has underlined the failure of current policies to push Australia quick enough down the path of a clean energy future, saying the government needs to do more to help unleash market forces, change the regulatory environment that protects incumbent systems from the advances of new technologies, and to reduce existing subsidies to fossil fuels. Or else face a much more expensive transformation.

The report also assesses the prospects of seven technologies that could, individually or in part, deliver on Australia’s target to of reducing emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 -- wind, solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal, carbon capture and storage, nuclear, biomass -- as well as storage options and issues surrounding the grid. The latter is critically important to be able to link wind and solar resources to areas of energy consumption, but the report questions if Australia yet has the skills to achieve this.