Australia’s first Renewable Energy Index launched
To assist the Australian community in understanding the role and contribution of renewable energy to meeting our energy needs while also providing an important source of employment and reducing pollution, Green Energy Markets produces the monthly Renewable Energy Index.
The index tracks the contribution of the renewable energy sector broken down by fuel type and state on a series of metrics that are intended to translate abstract concepts such as megawatts and tonnes of CO2 into concepts the community can understand and appreciate such as number of households powered, and number of cars’ pollution avoided.
The first report covering the 2016-17 financial year was released on 28 August alongside the first monthly report covering July 2017.
Key findings from the 2016-17 Report
Renewable energy is on the way to producing as much power as Australian households consume. In fact, between July 2016 to June 2017:
● Australia produced enough renewable energy to power 7.1 million homes, or 70% of all households in the country ;
● Renewables made up 17.2% of the electricity generated in Australia (in the National Electricity Market and Western Australian Electricity Market);
● The amount of renewable energy used last financial year avoided an amount of carbon pollution equal to removing 8.1 million cars from the road. This is more than half of all the cars in Australia. The recent boom in construction of large-scale renewables is employing thousands of people:
● 46 large-scale renewable energy projects were under construction at the end of 2016-17;
● These projects are estimated to create enough jobs to employ 8,868 people full-time for a year (in other words, 8,868 job-years of employment);
● NSW is in the lead , gaining the largest number at 3,018, mostly from the construction of new wind farms;
● Queensland is in second place with 2,625 job years, with 70% flowing from solar farm construction and the remainder from wind farms. Rooftop solar is making a big impact:
● Almost 150,000 small-scale rooftop solar systems were installed in the year to June 2017;
● These systems generated enough energy to power over 226,000 homes ;
● The systems installed last year will deliver around $1.6 billion in power bill savings over the next 10 years to the households and businesses that installed them — almost $10,000 per system ;
● Installing these solar systems supported 3,769 full-time jobs (across installation, design and sales).