- Clean Energy Council says 83 wind and solar power projects currently under construction or to be constructed in Australia represent commitments of more than AU$20 billion ($14.42 billion)
- Additionally, wind and solar power projects completed in 2018 add up to AU$6 billion ($4.33 billion) taking the total projects completed or underway to more than AU$26 billion ($18.75 billion)
- Australia has also become home to more than 2 million small-scale solar PV systems representing 7.87 GW of cumulative capacity
- Small-scale solar PV installations under the country’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme account for 73% out of 13.3 million MWh of clean energy produced under the scheme, as per Clean Energy Regulator
Australia’s Clean Energy Council says the country has committed investments worth more than AU$20 billion ($14.42 Billion) for renewable energy and storage projects. It said on Dec. 5, 2018, 14.6 GW of new renewable energy projects were either under construction or due to start construction in the form of 83 projects.
“The total value of the projects underway is double where we were at the end of last year. Plus, the wind and solar projects completed in 2018 add up to AU$6 billion ($4.33 billion), taking the total of projects completed or underway this year to more than AU$26 billion ($18.75 billion),” said CEC Chief Executive, Kane Thornton. “More than 80 projects are being built, which will deliver over AU$20 billion of investment and 13,000 direct jobs. It really is an amazing time for this industry.”
Solar contributes 9,028 MW, representing an investment worth AU$ 11.44 billion ($8.25 billion). Queensland has the largest number of projects in the list – 27 of them are coming up there, and it also takes the biggest chunk of the AU$20 billion investment sum: AU$6.9 billion ($4.98 billion) with 5,640 MW of new capacity and over 4,500 direct jobs. It is followed by Victoria with AU$5.2 billion ($3.75 billion) of investment and 3,400 MW capacity, leading to creation of over 3,800 direct jobs. New South Wales gets AU$4.3 billion ($3.1 billion) of investment with 3,500 MW of new capacity and over 2,100 direct jobs.
Clean Energy Council called for a committed federal level policy to back the growth of renewables. Otherwise the ‘billion-dollar economic boom from renewable energy in regional Australia could come to an end,’ it warned.
Rooftop solar grows
While large-scale solar has started taking off in the country big time, Australia is an established global leader when it comes to rooftop solar.
As of December 5, 2018, businesses and homes in Australia had installed more than 2 million solar PV systems under the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, according to the government’s Clean Energy Regulator (see info graph below).
These systems include up to 100 kW size systems; the average system size in 2018 reached 6.9 kW. “A growing segment of the industry installing rooftop solar are small businesses who have installed over 16,596 systems so far in 2018 compared to over 9,663 in 2017,” said Clean Energy Regulator general manager Michelle Crosbie.
These solar PV installations account for 73% out of 13.3 million MWh of clean energy produced under the scheme. Queensland takes the lead here as well with 592,425 small-scale solar systems representing 2,313 MW of capacity. The cumulative PV rooftop capacity of the country is 7.87 GW, according to Clean Energy Council.
In December 2017, Australia’s cumulative installed rooftop PV capacity was 6.4 GW (see Australian Rooftop Capacity Reaches 6.4 GW).