Renewables set to provide 33% of Australian power by 2020

Research and advisory firm, Green Energy Markets, has released its monthly Renewable Energy Index for May 2018 projecting that, based on solar and wind farms already under construction or contracted plus rooftop solar maintaining stable installation levels, the National Electricity Market will receive one third of its power from renewable energy by 2020.

This represents almost a doubling in renewables share compared to 2015 when it met 17.3% of annual electricity consumption.

The report concluded that the National Energy Guarantee is “unlikely to make any difference to power station investment or emissions unless the emission target is strengthened”.

Other key points of the report are:

● Even if contracting and construction commitments to solar farms and wind farms halted from today, ongoing installations of rooftop solar should see renewables share reaching 39% by 2030. Given a range of corporate procurement tenders are also underway it is now reasonably likely renewables will exceed 40% share by 2030.

● This substantially exceeds the emission reduction ambition within the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). Modelling for the Energy Security Board estimated the emission target would be achieved with36% renewables’ share.

● Given the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro expansion is envisaged to resolve foreseeable reliability challenges, the NEG appears to do little to support investment in new generating capacity.

● However, in spite of renewable energy’s significant growth to 2030, Australia’s overall emissions across the entire economy are still expected to exceed our Paris target for 26% -28% emission reductions across the entire economy, not just electricity.

The report is available here.

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