The clean energy sector in Australia is recovering from recent setbacks and looking forward to a record year for new wind and solar farms. This year will see the creation of thousands of jobs, and bring the country’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target within sight.
The Australian Clean Energy council released their annual report which documents that the country produced around 17,500 GWh of renewable energy last year, which is more than halfway to their goal for 33,000 GWh by 2020. Investments in late 2016 will kick-off a number of new large-scale wind and solar projects this year, and already about 4000 jobs have been created.
Though private investment into renewable energy projects fell sharply in 2013, investments have since rebounded up to $2.56 billion in the last year. According to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new wind farms are being constructed at a levelized cost of energy of $61-118 per megawatt-hour. This is compared to approximately $78-140 for solar and $134-203 MWh for coal-fired plants.
The central territory is aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2020, while South Australia will probably have surpassed the 50% share in the 2016-17 year, approximately eight years earlier than anticipated. Meanwhile, Victoria is on track for a 25% renewable energy share in 2020 and aiming for 40% renewable five years after.