The Clean Energy Australia Report 2016 provides a comprehensive overview of the Australian clean energy sector and the latest key figures and statistics on the national energy market.
The Clean Energy Australia Report 2016 provides a comprehensive annual snapshot of the Australian clean energy sector and the latest key figures and statistics on the national energy market. It is the only analysis that includes the National Electricity Market, the Western Australian electricity grid and other major regional grids across the country in areas such as the Northern Territory.
The main findings from the report are as follows:
- Renewable energy provided 17.3 per cent of Australia’s electricity in 2016, which was the most of any year this century. This was a significant improvement compared to the previous year, when renewable energy provided 14.6 per cent of Australia's electricity.
- Power generation from Australia’s hydro plants made the biggest contribution, providing 42.3 per cent of total renewable energy following excellent rainfall in key hydro catchments.
- Approximately 17,500 GWh of renewable energy was generated in 2016 towards meeting the large-scale component of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), which is set at 33,000 GWh in 2020. This puts the industry just over halfway towards acheiving it.
- While the industry is headed into a boom in 2017, project activity the year before was subdued for large-scale renewable energy. Three wind farms and seven solar power plants became operational in 2016. The solar plants were relatively small, with the exception of Fotowatio Renewable Ventures' Moree Solar Farm, the second largest in the country, and Elecnor's 25 MW Barcaldine Solar Farm.
- More than 35 projects will be under construction during 2017, in what is shaping up to be the biggest year for the industry since the iconic Snowy Hydro Scheme was built more than half a century ago. In the first five months of 2017 alone, $5.2 billion worth of projects have secured finance.
- The installation of rooftop solar systems was steady in 2016, with 135,370 systems installed throughout the year. However, this has accelerated in 2017, with the industry posting its largest ever March quarter for rooftop solar, and the biggest of any quarter since August 2012.
- Renewable energy is now the cheapest kind of new power generation that can be built today – less than both new coal and new gas-fired power plants. Large-scale solar is almost half the cost it was just a couple of years ago, and is now playing a huge role in meeting the national RET.
- Employment in the renewable energy industry contracted by 15 per cent to 11,150 jobs in the 2015-16 financial year. However, employment figures are likely to increase substantially in 2017, with over 35 large-scale projects already under construction or starting this year, adding up to more than $7.5 billion in investment and more than 4100 additional direct jobs.