Renewable Energy Index - May 2018

27 Jun 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.

May 2018

By 2020 renewable energy will provide a third of power in the National Electricity Market

●   Based on solar and wind farms already under construction or contracted plus rooftop solarmaintaining stable installation levels, the National Electricity Market will receive 33.3% of its power from renewable energy by 2020.
●   This represents almost a doubling in renewables share compared to 2015 when it met17.3% of annual electricity consumption.

The National Energy Guarantee is unlikely to make any difference to power station investment oremissions unless the emission target is strengthened

●   Even if contracting and construction commitments to solar farms and wind farms halted from today, ongoing installations of rooftop solar should see renewables share reaching
39% by 2030. Given a range of corporate procurement tenders are also underway it is now reasonably likely renewables will exceed 40% share by 2030.

●   This substantially exceeds the emission reduction ambition within the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). Modelling for the Energy Security Board estimated the emission target would be achieved with36% renewables’ share.

●   Given the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro expansion is envisaged to resolve foreseeable reliability challenges, the NEG appears to do little to support investment in new generating capacity.

●   However, in spite of renewable energy’s significant growth to 2030, Australia’s overall emissions across the entire economy are still expected to exceed our Paris target for 26% -28% emission reductions across the entire economy, not just electricity.

The untapped potential from projects under development could produce power equal to 85% of the National Electricity Market’s 2030 consumption.

●   Since the political uncertainty over the Renewable Energy Target was resolved, project developers have been incredibly busy identifying and gaining development approval for new wind and
solar farms around the country. This full pipeline of development projects are now capable of producing an amount of electricity equal to 85% of the National Electricity Market’s entire consumption in 2030.

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