New Index launched to track Australia's renewable energy performance

Market analysts Green Energy Markets and advocacy group GetUp! have jointly launched the new Australian Renewable Energy Index, a monthly measure of the amount of renewable energy Australia relies on, the jobs it creates and the environmental benefits.

The inaugural edition of the Index is a benchmark report covering July 2016 to June 2017 with findings in the following categories:

Renewable energy generation

● Australia produced enough renewable energy to power 7.1 million homes, or 70%​ ​of​ ​all households​ ​in​ ​the​ ​country​;

● Renewables made up 17.2% of the electricity generated in Australia (in the National Electricity Market and Western Australian Electricity Market);

● The amount of renewable energy used last financial year avoided an amount of carbon pollution equal to removing 8.1 million cars from the road. This​ ​is​ ​more​ ​than​ ​half​ ​of​ ​all the​ ​cars​ ​in​ ​Australia.

Employment in the renewable energy sector

● 46​ ​large-scale​ ​renewable​ ​energy​ ​projects​ were under construction at the end of 2016-17;

● These projects are estimated to create enough​ ​jobs​ ​to​ ​employ​ ​8,868​ ​people​ full-time for a year (in other words, 8,868 job-years of employment);

● NSW​ ​is​ ​in​ ​the​ ​lead​, gaining the largest number at 3,018, mostly from the construction of new wind farms;

● Queensland​ ​is​ ​in​ ​second​ ​place​ with 2,625 job years, with 70% flowing from solar farm construction and the remainder from wind farms.

Contribution of rooftop solar

● Almost​ ​150,000​ ​small-scale​ ​rooftop ​solar​ ​systems​ were installed in the year to June 2017;

● These systems generated enough​ ​energy​ ​to​ ​power​ ​over​ ​226,000​ ​homes;​

● The​ ​systems​ ​installed​ ​last​ ​year​ ​will​ ​deliver​ ​around​ ​$1.6​ ​billion​ ​in​ ​power​ ​bill savings​ ​over​ ​the​ ​next​ ​10​ ​years​ to the households and businesses that installed them — almost​ ​$10,000​ ​per​ ​system​;

● Installing these solar systems supported 3,769​ ​full-time​ ​jobs​ (across installation, design and sales).

The Renewable Energy Index is funded by GetUp! to provide an up-to-date record of the contribution renewable energy is making to Australia.

The report is available here.

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