On Global Wind Day, the Clean Energy Council recognises the vital role that wind plays in Australia's energy mix and the valuable contribution wind makes to our regional economies.
The wind sector accounted for the bulk of new generation in 2020, with the commissioning of 10 new wind farms around Australia adding 1097 MW throughout the year. This was a new record for the sector, comfortably surpassing the 837 MW record set in 2019.
"Wind continued to be Australia's leading source of clean energy in 2020, accounting for 35.9 per cent of renewable generation and almost 10 per cent of total generation," says Clean Energy Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
Wind's contribution to Australia's energy mix has grown 136 per cent since 2014. There are now over 100 wind farms in Australia, and that number is set to grow with 25 large-scale projects with a total capacity of 4.5 GW either under construction or financially committed.
There are 8000 jobs in delivering the wind projects already committed across Australia, and an additional 22,000 jobs in the pipeline if projects with planning approvals are delivered.
On Global Wind Day, the Clean Energy Council also welcomes the appointment of Amelia Hanscombe, Legal Manager for Pacific Hydro, as Australia's Ambassador to the Global Wind Energy Council's Women in Wind Global Leadership Program.
Ms Hanscombe says that there is enormous potential for women working in the sector.
"There are so many brilliant untapped opportunities for women to participate at every stage of the wind farm delivery chain," she said.
As an energy lawyer working across the entire lifecycle of a wind farm, Hanscombe has seen the phenomenal diversity of skills and expertise underpinning the sector, including engineering, finance, construction, environment and planning, business, communications, advocacy, and law.
Wind energy has illustrated substantial direct and indirect financial benefits to regional and rural Australia, contributing to the social fabric of local communities and diversifying traditional agricultural economies. By the end of 2021, it's estimated that $5 million will flow annually into regional and rural communities through Community Enhancement Funds alone.
Australian wind farms are also estimated to provide landholder payments to the value of around $50 million per year.
"The economic benefits of the wind sector make a significant contribution to the success of the industry," said Thornton.
"Harnessing wind for clean, low-cost power also benefits local employment and job creation, income development, strengthens the social fabric of our communities and enhances consumer choice.
"With the prospect of an offshore wind industry just over the horizon, we expect that the Australian wind energy sector will only continue to go from strength to strength.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Clean Energy Council Media Manager
+61 409 470 683