Renewable Energy to Supply 35% of Australia’s Electricity Within 24-Months

A new report from market analysts is predicting as much as 35% of Australia’s energy demand will be supplied by renewables, while citing a lack of federal government policy that could stall progress.

The report comes from analysts at Green Energy Markets, who have compiled their Renewable Energy Index for June, 2019, which showed that renewable energy’s share of the overall generation across the main grids of the East and West Coasts was 22.3%.

“This averaged figure across the month disguises the extent of renewable energy’s emerging dominance over daytime hours,” according to the authors of the report. “Even though it is winter, solar capacity is now sufficiently large that it drove renewable energy’s share of the market above 30%; it reached a peak of 39.2% on the 30th of June.”

The power generated by renewables, made up of solar, wind and hydroelectric power was in the month of June, according to Green Markets, enough to power 10.4-million homes, reduce CO2 pollution by 2.8-million tonnes; akin to taking 10.8-million cars off the road for the month.

In addition to this, the 9,726 megawatts of renewable energy projects currently under construction represent enough work to employ 21,843 people, according to the report. Other key findings include 20,587 small-scale solar systems being installed in the month of June; set to deliver $288 million in bill savings. The industry is also lively enough to have employed 7,301 rooftop solar specialists.

Green Energy Market’s analyst and director, Tristan Edis told The Guardian that the growth spurt was set to continue in the short-term with new developments set to enter development soon, however, in the absence of a renewable energy policy, analysts are warning that the industry’s growth could stagnante.

“What we are seeing now is just a glimpse of what’s ahead, because you’ve still got a substantial number of solar farms coming through,” Edis told the Guardian. “We’re going to be regularly having 50% of renewables - solar, wind and hydro - across the national electricity market in the middle of the day in the next 12 months.”

“But, it’s also soon going to get hard to get new stuff built,” Tristian Edis warned.

Earlier this week, Kane Thornton, chief executive at the Energy Council said the past two years represented an unprecedented time for renewables in Australia, following $24-billion worth of investments in large-scale renewable projects which was buoyed by the installation of solar panels on 2-million households, as well as construction of the world’s biggest battery storage facility in South Australia.

With proper support, Thorton says the industry is set to supply 50% of Australia’s energy demands with renewable power before 2030, with a fully renewable energy system “was now inevitable and could be achieved well before the mid-century,” according to the Guardian’s reporting.

“It’s now time we started debating when Australia should target 200% renewable energy generation,” Thronton said, before warning the current state of politics stands to upset the adoption rate of renewable energy.

While “the economics of clean energy continues to improve, and we no longer require subsidy,” Thronton explained, “the wholesale market is riddled with uncertainty,” he said, citing a lack of cooperation and planning between the Federal and State governments.

New South Wales energy and environment minister has recently stated the NSW government would take the lead in introducing its own policy if the federal government continued to stall on the process.

“The NSW government still supports the national energy guarantee and will continue to support a national mechanism that integrates climate and energy policy,” he said. “As I’ve said before, if the commonwealth won’t get on board, NSW will consider going it alone.”

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