Renewable Energy Index - May 2019

02 Jul 2019

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.

Renewable Energy Index - May 2019

The recently re-elected Morrison Federal Government has indicated it does not intend to implement additional policies to reduce emissions in the electricity sector. Nonetheless, every state within the east-coast National Electricity Market has their own targets for either renewable energy or emissions. This edition of the Renewable Energy Index reviews each state’s progress towards their targets.

  • Victoria is already close to achieving its target of 40% of Victorian power generationcoming from renewables by 2025 and within striking distance of their 2030 target for 50% renewables. Victoria requires about 2,000MW of further projects to reach its 50%target. It would only need a further two renewable energy contracting rounds similar in scale to the one it concluded in 2018 and it will have bridged the gap to its 2030 target. Note Victoria defines its target in terms of generation, not consumption. Assuming its remaining brown coal generation remains at historical levels, Victoria would re-emerge as a major power exporter under such a scenario.
  • NSW will fall short of achieving timely progress towards its target of net-zero emissions from its power sector by 2050. To be on track it would need renewables to grow to around 46% of its overall electricity consumption by 2030, but is currently on track to 28% based on expected rooftop solar growth and committed and contracted wind and solar farms. To bridge the gap it requires close to an additional 5,000MW of new renewable energy project commitments by 2030.
  • Queensland is also significantly short of its target for 50% renewables by 2030, with current commitments and rooftop solar growth to deliver 29.2%. Even after taking into account the initiatives of the Government’s CleanCo, the state requires around another 4,500MW of projects.
  • South Australia is on track to generating renewable energy equal to 73.5% of its consumption by 2030, up from 53% in 2018. To achieve the government’s target of 100% renewables it roughly needs another 1,300MW of capacity.
  • Tasmania needs no further projects to achieve its target of 100% renewables by 2022, indeed it has been close to generating 100% renewables as a proportion of consumption well before the government announced its target.
  • If all these states ensured enough new projects were built to achieve their targets it would generate 32,000 job-years of construction employment.

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