Australia surpasses Norway and Canada for renewable power projects

Investment in Australia’s renewable energy strategy has increased five times over since 2015, a report has revealed.

The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has published a paper detailing progress towards the country’s 2020 renewable energy target (RET).

More than $4 billion was committed to the effort last year, which in time will add more than 2,000 megawatts of capacity to the grid.

Of the 98 new power plants accredited in 2016, 86 were solar and is said to reflect a rapid decline in cost and increased capacity of photovoltaics technology.

Small-scale renewable investment was also strong with 182,000 new installations in 2016, many of which were in regional areas.

Across Australia, there are now 2.6 million small-scale renewable systems covering around 15 per cent of Australian homes.

“Rooftop solar panels and household hot water systems generate more than 5,000 megawatts of power, nearly twice the size of the nation’s largest power station,” a CER spokesperson said.

“This massive ramp-up in investment has seen Australia become a top 10 destination in the world for renewable energy projects ahead of other resource-rich economies like Norway and Canada.

“Australia’s renewable energy target of 23.5 per cent by 2020 is now within sight, with the CER stating that ‘if this investment momentum continues in 2017… the 2020 RET can be achieved’.”

Henry Sapiecha

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