Wind power is currently the cheapest source of large-scale renewable energy. It involves generating electricity from the naturally occurring power of the wind. Wind turbines capture wind energy within the area swept by their blades. The spinning blades drive an electrical generator that produces electricity for export to the grid.
Technological advances in the sector mean that wind turbines are now larger, more efficient and make use of intelligent technology. Rotor diameters and hub heights have increased to capture more energy per turbine. The advancing technology means that fewer turbines are needed to produce the same energy, and wind farms have increasingly sophisticated adaptive capability.
In 2018, Australia's wind farms produced 33.5 per cent of the country's clean energy and supplied 7.1 per cent of Australia's overall electricity. Over 850 MW of wind energy was installed in 2018, making it the best ever year for installed wind farm capacity.
of total clean energy generated in 2018
of total electricity generated in 2018
Nine wind farms were commissioned in 2018, adding 867 MW of new generating capacity, which was the highest amount added in the history of the Australian wind industry. At the end of 2018, 24 wind farms with a combined capacity of 5.69 GW were under construction or financially committed nationally, representing more than $8 billion of investment and creating almost 5000 jobs.
projects commissioned in 20189
projects under construction or due to start soon24
The largest project in 2018 was the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm in New South Wales. Other large wind farms completed during the year included the 181 MW Mt Emerald Wind Farm in Queensland and the 138 MW Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm (Stage 1) in Victoria.
You can view more detail on the projects that have been completed and are being constructed around the country on our project tracker page.
The majority of Australians support wind power. Even so, it is vitally important for wind farm companies to engage in good faith with people living in the vicinity of wind power projects.
To help promote a high standard of community engagement across the industry, the Clean Energy Council has developed a number of reports and guides which are available on our community engagement page.