September 17, 2020 Read More →

Australian regulator says country on track to hit 30% renewable energy in electric grid by year’s end

Renew Economy:

Australia is on track to increase its total share of renewable electricity generation to 30 per cent by the end of 2020, the Clean Energy Regulator has confirmed in a new report published on Thursday.

The Renewable Energy Target 2019 Administrative Report details a year of records for large and small-scale solar and wind in Australia, with total capacity delivered under the Renewable Energy Target increasing by 24 per cent – from 5.1GW in 2018 to 6.3GW in 2019.

The CER says that this momentum has been maintained in 2020, despite Covid-19 and despite the large-scale component of the renewable energy target effectively coming to an end, having already been met. The big driver for added capacity has been the corporate market and its push for renewable energy power purchase agreements.

The CER report says around 3.4GW of new utility-scale solar and wind energy capacity is expected to be delivered in 2020, generating a minimum 34,000 gigawatt-hours that well exceeds the 33,000GWh mandated by the large-scale RET.

With the RET met and with federal government support for large-scale renewable energy dried up, the CER says new renewables investment is being driven primarily by the state policies, the private market, and by corporations signing up to solar and wind power purchase agreements.

“Over 500 megawatts of new utility-scale renewable capacity in 2019 was underpinned by large corporations seeking to hedge electricity costs and reduce carbon emissions,” the report says. And this corporate offtake market is continuing to thrive in 2020, boosted by a growing subsector of large resource corporations looking to power off-grid mines with renewables either through power purchase agreements or their own installations.

[Sophie Vorrath]

More: Regulator says corporate demand to push Australia renewables to 30% by year end

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