Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has concluded the country needs 6 GW of additional renewable energy capacity to meet its own 2020 target.
In the Clean Energy Regulator’s (CER) annual report, the overall finding was that progress in 2015 towards achieving the country’s Renewable Energy Target “was adequate under the circumstances,” and that reaching the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target in 2020 “is achievable.”
Australia’s Large-scale Renewable Energy Target requires Australia to generate 33,000 GWh of additional renewable electricity in 2020, while its accompanying Small-scale Renewable Energy target aims to encourage additional electricity supply from small scale systems, though with no specific target.
Additionally, the regulator’s annual report concluded that there was “no indication that the impact on household electricity bills in 2015 was more than anticipated when the target was amended.”
To meet the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target, Australia needs to add another 6 GW to its existing capacity so as to meet its target.
Supply, demand, and required generation to achieve expected total demand in 2020
The report also highlighted the value of the renewable energy industry in Australia throughout 2015. 15.2 million MWh of electricity was generated in Australia from large-scale renewable sources during 2015, enough to power the equivalent of around 2.4 million average Australian homes for a year. 8.9 million MWh of electricity was generated or displaced as a result of small-scale renewable sources, enough to power around 1.4 million homes.
Australia’s small-scale systems saw a strong year, with 188,902 new systems installed during the year, with a 12% average increase since 2014, and a doubling of capacity since 2011. Of these, 137,468 were solar panel systems, 42,525 were solar water heater installations, another 8,898 were air source heat pumps, and 11 small-scale wind installations topped off the number. As a result of 2015’s installations, Australia’s cumulative small-scale installations now number more than 2.4 million.