NewEnergyNews: AUSTRALIA’S ABUNDANT NEW ENERGY

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    Friday, June 07, 2013

    AUSTRALIA’S ABUNDANT NEW ENERGY

    Australia Approaches 22% Renewables By 2020, 51% by 2050

    Silvio Marcacci, May 30, 2013 (Clean Technica)

    “Australia may be one of the most coal-dependent economies in the world, but by the end of this decade, it may have one of the greenest global grids…A new analysis of government data compiled by Green Energy Markets finds Australia on track to not only hit 22% renewables by 2020, but reach an unprecedented 51% of all electricity by 2050.

    “Two major factors are empowering this paradigm shift: rapid growth of solar energy and the gradual phase-out of oil and brown coal – the two most carbon-intense energy resources…Australia’s 20% Renewable Energy Target (RET), roughly 60,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of power…was established in the Australian Labor Party’s 2007 election platform…45,000GWh of new capacity was required to meet this target…”

    “Electricity retailers and other large-scale emitters are required to produce certificates demonstrating progress against a set liability level of renewable generation. In January 2011, the RET was divided into two parts: an uncapped scheme for small-scale renewable projects like rooftop solar, and a utility-scale target of 41,000GWh…So far, progress toward the RET has been modest, despite billions of pending clean energy investments. Government figures show that in 2012-2013, 13% (34,000GWh) of the country’s total electricity came from renewable generation, with 60% coming from coal, 24% coming from natural gas, and 2% from oil…

    “…But renewables are poised to quickly expand, growing at an annual average rate of 4.8% from 2012-2013 to 2049-2050 while fossil fuels decrease at an annual average rate of 3.1% over the same time period…[to] a 51% market share by 2049-2050. Wind power will represent the largest percentage of total renewables…a 4.7% annual growth rate, while solar will be the fastest grower at 12.3% per year…[S]olar reached “socket parity” in Australia several years ago…[One million Australian homes now have rooftop solar…[with an average capacity of] 3-5 kilowatts…[And] government estimates may be lower than eventual output…”

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