Renewable Energy Index - December 2017

25 Jan 2018

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.

December 2017

Wind farm construction exceeds 10,000 job mark as Victoria surges past NSW in renewable energy construction jobs

  • There are now 4,417 megawatts of renewable energy projects currently under construction in Australia, up by almost 500 megawatts on the prior month. These will create enough jobs to employ 15,691 people full-time of which wind farms represent 11,217 of those jobs.

  • Victoria has now surged past NSW to take second place in renewable energy project construction jobs, behind Queensland. Victoria’s construction job count leapt from 2,459 to 4,791 jobs, thanks in large part to the commitment to construction of Australia’s largest ever wind farm - the 530 megawatt Stockyard Hill development.

  • While many Australians proudly think of the Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme as a great construction and power engineering achievement, its power generation is now dwarfed by wind power. The wind farms under construction at present will produce twice as much power per annum as the Snowy Hydro scheme. When combined with wind farms already in operation, wind will supply fives times more electricity per annum than that of the Snowy Scheme.

The level of investment commitments to new utility-scale renewable energy capacity in 2017 has dwarfed prior years, blasting away doubts about what Australia could achieve.

  • The wind and solar farms committed in 2017 will generate more than 10,000GWh per annum, equal to all the electricity consumption of Tasmania or half of WA’s main grid.

  •  If we just maintained this level of capacity investments for another ten years, there would be enough renewable energy capacity installed to generate almost two-thirds of Australia’s expected 2030 electricity consumption. Rooftop solar installs set new record - exceeding a gigawatt in 2017, delivering $2 billion in power bill savings over next 10 years

  • Over 2017, Australia installed 1,078 megawatts of rooftop solar systems which managed to break the previous annual record set back in 2012. December installs were 114 megawatts which fell slightly short of the all-time record amount installed in November, but given the far lower number of working days the installation rate remains at exceptional levels.

  • The combined capacity installed over the entirety of 2017 is estimated to deliver $2 billion in electricity bill savings over the next decade, with the 16,247 systems installed over December delivering $209m.

  • These 16,247 of system installs in December are estimated to have supported 5,477 full-time jobs in system design, installation and sales.

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