What's the outlook for Australia's Clean Energy Sector?
In 2017, Australia hit new records in clean energy development, the Clean Energy Council reports. More rooftop solar power was installed in 2017 than ever before, and in early 2018 it was announced that 2 million Australian homes now have solar - meaning the country is on track to hit the Government's 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET).
What is the outlook of Australia's clean energy sector?
Investments in clean energy in Australia
Australia's government created the RET scheme to reduce greenhouse gases and encourage energy sourcing from sustainable and renewable sources. The scheme's target is to produce 33,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy by 2020 by ensuring energy providers demonstrate a commitment to renewable power. Households and small businesses are encouraged to invest in renewable energy systems and appliancesby benefiting from cost-saving incentives provided by the government.
Outside of the scheme, 2018 saw $20 billion invested in over 80 solar and wind farms, which also created in the region of 13,000 jobs, as reported by the Clean Energy Council. Tesla's battery at Hornsdale, South Australia, looks set to be replicated at a number of other spots around the country - storing wind energy when it's not needed and distributing it when required. Some regions are supporting household-level battery storage as well. Meanwhile, talks continue around Snowy 2.0 - a project set to expand an existing hydro-electric generation system in the Snowy Mountains to increase capacity by 2000 megawatts.
What's the outlook for state-level clean energy schemes in Australia
On an individual level, each state sets their own targets and work toward different aims. Some of the highlights from the 2018 Clean Energy Australia report include:
- The ACT looks set to have 100 per cent clean energy by 2020 by building wind farms and completing large solar projects.
- In NSW, the government is aiming to double its clean energy capacity by 2021 by investing in solar and wind farms.
- South Australia has almost achieved its target of 50 per cent of energy coming from renewable sources - it already reached 45 per cent two years ago.
- Victoria has agreed to two renewable targets - to reach 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. The government has supported local providers and intends to offset some of the power used by Melbourne's tram network.
- The NT is aiming for 50 per cent of their emissions to come from renewable sources by 2030, lowering their reliance on gas.
- Tasmania is recognised as a leader in Australian renewable energy, and may play a key role in creating the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Queensland is leading in rooftop solar PV panel installation, with almost a third of homes in the state buying in. It's also one of the biggest producers of bioenergy.