Renewable energy powers ahead in 2018

Over 20 per cent of the nation’s power was generated through renewable energy production in 2018, with large-scale renewable energy projects increasing their share of production by 260 per cent during the year, a new report has found.

The Clean Energy Council’s 2018 Renewable Energy Report Card shows that amount of renewable energy capacity financially committed in 2018 was 14.8 GW committed in 2018 compared to the 5.6 GW in 2017.

Large-scale solar was the largest single contributor to the renewable energy mix, recording a massive increase in capacity from 382 MW at the end of 2017 to 1824 at the same time in 2018.

“The report reflects on an unprecedented period where more rooftop and commercial solar was installed than ever before, and Australia celebrated a milestone of 2 million solar homes nationally,” CEC’s CEO Kane Thornton said.

“While investment in large-scale renewables doubled from $10 billion in 2017 to $20 billion in 2018, the generating capacity grew by more than 2.5 times over the same period.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • The amount of renewable energy capacity committed in 2018 increased 260 per cent on 2017, with 14.8 GW underway in 2018 compared to 5.6 GW in 2017. This has created another 7000 new jobs since 2017.

  • Investment in large-scale renewable energy doubled to $20 billion, creating over 13,000 new jobs and new generating capacity of almost 15 GW.

  • The clean industry is now directly employing over 20,000 people, many of these throughout rural and regional Australia

  • Electricity generated by renewables hit 21 per cent in 2018 – its highest ever level.

  • Rooftop solar installations passed 2 million systems nationally, with six solar panels installed per minute across the country in 2018.

  • The installed capacity of rooftop solar now exceeds 8.1 GW throughout Australia, approximately four times the capacity of the Liddell Power Station. The average rooftop solar system size continues to increase, now reaching 7.13 kW.

  • A record breaking 67 large-scale renewable energy projects were under construction at the end of 2018.

  • Large scale solar had an extraordinary year, with the amount of installed capacity increasing almost five times (480 per cent), from 382 MW in 2017 to 1824 MW in 2018.

  • There was a 45 per cent increase in commercial solar installations throughout 2018.

  • The top three postcodes with the highest uptake of rooftop solar are: Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Toowoomba, cementing Queensland’s place as the sunshine state.

The full 2019 Clean Energy Australia Report can be downloaded here

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