Australian Renewables: What are we looking forward?
Through the years, the journey of supplying clean energy to Australian market has been showing great achievements. Despite of partial support from federal government for Australian renewables, the energy targets have been consistently met and more people whether coming from business or a simple household are becoming renewable-dependent every year. There is a substantial growth in generation of renewable electricity throughout the country and it is continuously increasing.
How does Australian Renewables perform?
According from latest data of Clean Energy Regulator, Australia will be installing about a total of 10,400MW of renewable power source in 2018 and 2019, including 7,200MW of large-scale renewables and 3,200MW of rooftop solar. This new capacity is separated similarly between large-scale solar photovoltaics (PV), rooftop solar installs and wind farms. This equates to a per-capita rate of 224 watts for every individual every year, which is among the highest of any country.
As per chart below, you will see the actual and probable deployment of large-scale (more than 0.1MW) systems in Australia. About 4,000MW per year is currently being installed.
(Source: Clean Enegy Regulator/ANU)
The chart below shows an annual small-scale (less than 0.1MW) rooftop PV capacity additions. This includes an estimate of 1,600MW for the whole of 2018 based on installations for the year to June.
(Source: Clean Enegy Regulator/ANU)
Today, Australia renewable had hit a historical rate of 9GW for the first time in solar history. This is even without hydro power, the contribution of large-scale wind, large scale solar, and rooftop solar. This is according from the Climate and Energy College in Melbourne, and sourced from their OpenNem data feed. As an example, Victoria reached a milestone of meeting the state’s demand on renewables by 50%.
What more do we expect from Renewables?
Clean Energy regulator says that if the flow rate of renewable power source installation continues, Australia will obscure the large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), achieving 29% renewable power in 2020 and 50% in 2025. It might even outperform the first 41 terawatt-hour (TWh) target.
For further analysis, the projections mentioned above are based on the following assumptions:
- demand (including behind-the-meter demand) remains constant. Demand has changed little in the past decade
- large- and small-scale solar PV and wind power continue to be deployed at their current rates of 2,000MW, 1,600MW and 2,000MW per year, respectively
- large- and small-scale solar PV and wind continue to have capacity factors of 21%, 15% and 40%, respectively
- existing hydro and bio generation remains constant at 20 terawatt-hours per year
- fossil fuels meet the rapidly declining balance of demand.
In addition to, an analysis from ANU Energy Change Institute shows that the energy industry has now exhibited the ability to offer 100% renewable power by the mid 2030s. That will happen if the current rate of installations will continue until the end of this decade.
The Booming Small-Scale solar
One of the high-performing sectors of renewable energy is small-scale or residential solar. In fact, Clean Energy Council recently announced residential solar was to reach a remarkable achievement of hitting the two-million mark on having the number of households to have installed rooftop PV. This record-breaking moment signifies that six rooftop solar panels are installed every minute somewhere around the country. The numbers are extremely overwhelming for small-scale solar and can potentially double in the coming years.
The data highlighted the top solar postcode for each state and territory. Led by QLD with 2.1GW, the CEC data shows a rooftop solar market that is still in high demand and continuously booming , l The next states that showing big capacity are NSW and VIC with 1.7GW and 1.4GW, respectively.
Australia’s renewable energy industry has the capacity to deliver vast and tremendous energy capacity in the coming years. The industry doesn’t show any sign of slowing down and regularly shows its potential to the market and customers. Even without the full support of the federal government, it creates a momentum that proves the capability of Australian renewables to power the whole country in the future.
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Vorrath, Sophie. (2018, December 3). Two million Australian households now have rooftop solar – and they vote. Retrieved from https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/two-million-australian-households-now-rooftop-solar-vote/?fbclid=IwAR1KPQ00Jks6nMZqRtGjgOp1Xay9IWNHkSnx_DnQR77FXp-uaOL1w0WO-b4
Parkinson, G. (2018, December 2). Milestone – Australia renewables output hits 9GW for first time. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/milestone-australia-renewables-output-hits-9gw-for-first-time-97571/
The conversation (2018, September 10). At its current rate, Australia is on track for 50% renewable electricity in 2025. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/at-its-current-rate-australia-is-on-track-for-50-renewable-electricity-in-2025-102903