With renewables growing by leaps and bounds, especially solar capacity that Sunwiz expects to double to 18 GW by 2020, Reneweconomy says Australia will comfortably reach its 33,000 GWh large-scale renewable energy target.
- Australia could have 18 GW of installed PV capacity by 2020, jumping up from the current cumulative of 9 GW, according to Sunwiz estimates as reported by Reneweconomy
- All this could come from 4 GW of large scale solar, 4 GW of small rooftop solar and 1 GW of large rooftop solar installations of more than 100 kW capacity
- For 2018, it predicts a number of 2.3 GW or 2.4 GW of solar power capacity, while Green Energy Markets says annual additions in 2018 could touch 4 GW provided projects complete on time
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Come 2020, and Australia could have an installed solar power capacity of 18 GW, twice as much as today. Market intelligence firm SunWiz believes this jump from the current installed capacity of 9 GW will come from 4 GW of large scale solar, 4 GW of small rooftop solar and 1 GW of large rooftop solar installations of more than 100 kW capacity.
While rooftop solar has been the backbone of Australia’s solar boom in the past, it is expected to continue to contribute significant shares with a growing number of businesses, farmers and the like expected to invest in commercial scale installations.
Speaking with local renewable energy news portal Reneweconomy, Sunwiz director Warwick Johnston said Australia will end 2018 with 2.3 GW or 2.4 GW of new solar power capacity. Another research and advisory services firm Green Energy Markets pins the number at 4 GW for the year, depending on project completion. This would be a strong increase from the 1.46 GW installed in 2017.
At the end of July 2018, Australia had a combined 7,854 MW of large-scale renewable energy capacity either under construction or under operation (see Australia Accredited 395 MW PV Plants in July 2018).
Going by the estimates of the country’s Clean Energy Regulator (CER), the country will deploy about 10.4 GW of new renewable energy capacity during 2018 and 2019. According to a September 2018 analysis by the Australian National University (ANU), the country will comfortably exceed its 2020 Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 GWh of large-scale capacity (see Australia Could Reach 100% RE In 2030s).
While this is a reason to cheer for the renewables industry, Reneweconomy points out that once this happens, after 2020 state-based renewable initiatives will be the only support for renewables as the big retailers will not be required by law to have some amount of renewables in their portfolio.