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Record new renewable capacity in 2019

23 January 2020

Australia is a world leader in renewable energy. In 2019, we set new records for renewable capacity installation and total electricity generated from renewables.

The Clean Energy Regulator estimates that a record 6.3 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable capacity was installed in 2019, 24 per cent above the previous record set in 2018. Electricity generated from renewables is also estimated to have increased to a record 44 terawatt hours (TWh), 20 per cent above the previous year.

The Clean Energy Regulator expects that 2020 will be the biggest year yet for electricity generation from renewables (both in absolute terms and year-on-year growth) with a forecast 26 per cent increase.

Based on Bloomberg New Energy Finance data, Australia invested $7.7 billion or $308 per person in renewable energy in 2019. This places us ahead of countries like the United States ($233 per person), Japan ($179 per person) and the United Kingdom ($109 per person) on a per capita basis and is more than triple the per capita investment of countries like Denmark ($95 per person), France ($90 per person) and Germany ($73 per person).

Our per capita installation rate has increased more than five-fold since 2015. Last year, an Australian National University (ANU) study confirmed this is four times the per capita rate of the European Union, United States and Japan and ten times the global average.1

Emissions from the electricity grid are forecast to fall by 23 per cent by 2030 as the share of renewable energy increases to more than a third in the early 2020s and 48 per cent by 2030.

The key challenge to ensuring continued strong growth in new renewable capacity is to drive down the cost of storage and backup, including grid updates.

That’s why the Government has invested $1.4 billion into Snowy 2.0 and MarinusLink, established a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund and recently announced support terms for the first two UNGI projects.

These are important initiatives in the Government’s A Fair Deal on Energy policy and will contribute to meeting our $70 per MWh price target and maintaining and increasing reliable supply of electricity.

View the energy policy blueprint here: https://www.energy.gov.au/energy-policy-blueprint-fair-deal-energy .

Notes:

1  Matthew Stocks, Ken Baldwin, Andrew Blakers, Powering ahead: Australia leading the world in renewable energy build rates, 4 September 2019, available at: https://energy.anu.edu.au/files/Renewable%20energy%20target%20report%20September%202019_1_0.pdf