KPMG: Accelerating to net zero emissions: 30 Voices on 2030

Key Findings – Future of Energy 2030 Survey
  • 69 percent agreed that most businesses/households will have shifted to solar and battery storage in 2030
  • 59 percent agreed that specific ESG targets will be law in 2030
  • 65 percent agreed that by 2030, the challenge of meeting net zero will mean all forms of carbon capture technology are considered.
  • 74 percent agreed most households will be actively using smart energy monitoring by 2030
Australia is on an accelerating course towards net zero emissions in 2050, with the key milestone of 2030 expected to see expansion of scale in renewables and storage, the closure of coal fired power plants well advanced, and the ramp up of emerging zero emissions technologies. These are just some of the predictions framed in KPMG Australia’s new report and survey ‘30 Voices on 2030: The Future of Energy’.

For 30 Voices, diverse leaders from across the energy sector were interviewed by KPMG Australia about the challenges and opportunities on what the energy future could look like for Australia in 2030.

Their insights highlight the key drivers in the transition to net zero emissions for Australian business and the community and the different pathways on how we will get there. As part of the report, KPMG Australia also conducted a survey of 240 energy and natural resources businesses in Australia.

“The science has been clear for some time; the world needs to move to net zero emissions if we are to avoid severe climate damage,” said Cassandra Hogan, Energy and Natural Resources Industry Leader at KPMG Australia. “Supply of energy is already shifting to renewables and lower emissions fuels and consumers and industrial users are becoming more active participants in the energy market. They are choosing – even demanding – new technologies, products and data to meet their needs. We’re on that journey but having experts imagine the future can help us get on and stay on the right path. That’s the driving idea behind our 30 Voices on 2030 – The Future of Energy Report.”

Ms Hogan emphasised the report highlights the way in which the the grid is rapidly changing, becoming distributed and offering a more diverse range of energy sources and storage with sectors converging, presenting new opportunities and challenges.

“It’s significant that 69 percent of those ENR businesses we surveyed agreed that most businesses/households will have shifted to solar and battery storage in 2030,” she said. “By 2030 we will be well advanced on the journey towards net zero carbon emissions. The consistency and optimism we see amongst the 30 Voices is encouraging and makes me confident we will get there. The fact business, government and the community are now all moving in the same direction is very positive in terms of laying the energy transition groundwork for the next decade and beyond.”

Energy transition
Barry Sterland, KPMG Australia’s National Lead for Energy Transition said: “The domestic and international policy landscape shifted even in the time this publication was in preparation. This will accelerate the transition, which is already being driven by technology, declining cost curves, and consumer and supply chain demands. Energy firms need to get ahead of this change to seize the opportunities arising from this rapid change – and to avoid the risk of being left behind.”

“As we look towards COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, the implications are becoming ever more clear for the energy industry” said Mr Sterland. “The period to 2030 will involve strong growth in proven low emission, storage and demand management technologies, and the proving and scaling-up of the breakthrough technologies that will be the key to meeting net zero emissions in subsequent decades.”

He highlighted the need for business to be prepared for rapid change and to develop robust strategies and implementation plans.

“That’s about ESG becoming mainstream, and integrated into core investment decisions,” he said. “Or as the document says ‘Green investment’ is now known as simply ‘investment’ “. These pressures are accelerating the pace of new technologies and new operating models. We’re helping our client get to that point.”

Turning to the challenges of the next decade, Mr Sterland said that networks and generators weare grappling with how to get in front of this rapid energy transition, looking at what technology investments to consider, and how to be resilient to policy changes and consumer shifts both here and abroad.

Consumer Focus
Ms Hogan said: “Consumers will be at the centre of the energy transition, with technology transforming their relationship with the system.” She pointed to the Resport survey finding that 74 percent agreed most households will be using smart energy monitoring by 2030.

“Governments and companies are realising that in a rapidly-electrifying world where renewables power is cheap and often free, the focus will be on offering differentiated energy services to the new energy consumer – such services are now a major source of value and growth.”

It’s 2030. Six themes for what it will look like
The 30 Voices on 2030 Future of Energy report also frames 18 predictions under six themes that will create an industry that is decarbonising, is more accessible, and thriving ‘today’ in 2030.
  1. The energy mix has been transformed – Australia has changed its energy mix and has the global highest per capita penetration of renewable power generation and storage.
  2. ESG is a core business strategy – ESG has been incorporated into core business strategy and maintaining a social license to operate and competitive edge is regarded as critical.
  3. Data powers new energy solutions – The availability of Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increased demand flexibility and energy efficiency; protecting the consumer is paramount.
  4. There’s an ongoing war for energy talent – The energy industry has been forward thinking, embracing diversification and re-skilling of the workforce.
  5. Geopolitical drivers reshape the map – In an evolving geopolitical landscape, countries are both competing and cooperating to decarbonise.
  6. We will go beyond net zero – It won’t just be about ‘carbon neutral’ but we will go beyond that to ‘carbon negative’.

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