The "Land down Under" Is Upping Their Solar Energy Usage
According to the latest Renewable Energy Index from Green Energy Markets and lobby group GetUp!, new figures reveal that Australia's record solar energy uptake stands to save them $2 billion on power bills over the next 10 years.
The report aims to show Australians not only how important green energy is to the country, but also to reducing pollution.
The Australian Associated Press reports that the previous record was beaten when households installed more than 1,078 megawatts (MW) of solar energy on their roofs over the course of this past year. According to the report, there were 4,417 MW of renewable energy projects under construction. This will be able to provide 15,691 Australians with full-time work. More than 10,000 Gigawatt Hours (GWh) will also be generated due to wind and solar farms committed for development in 2017. This is equal to the entire electricity consumption of Tasmania, or half of the country's main grid.
GetUp! environmental campaigns director Dr. Miriam Lyons says that this shows that Australians want renewable energy "These figures show Australian can, and should be, a global renewable energy superpower." Queensland still leads the nation in solar energy uptake, but Victoria has taken over New South Wales for second place due entirely to their 530 MW Stockyard Hill Wind Farm development.
According to the report, "If we just maintained this level of capacity investments for another 10 years, there would be enough renewable energy capacity installed to generate almost two-thirds of Australia's expected 2030 electricity consumption." A record level of investment in renewable energy in 2017 has boosted the nation's large-scale generation capacity.
The report is following figures from the Clean Energy Regulator that show Australia is on track to meet conservative Liberal-National federal government's 2020 Renewable Energy Target. While the government's National Energy Guarantee is energy neutral, Australia seems to be deciding its own energy future.