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More than 2.3 GW of new renewable energy capacity entered the market in 2018 as 38 projects reached completion at the end of last year.

According to the latest Clean Energy Australia report rooftop solar experienced its best ever year, with 1.55 GW of new capacity added over the course of 2018.

All of this extra capacity resulted in Australia getting 21 per cent of its total power generation from renewables, which is more than enough to power every Australian household.

The annual report which is compiled by the Clean Energy Council covers the latest key figures and statistics on the national energy market. It is the only analysis that includes the National Electricity Market, the Western Australian electricity grid and other major regional grids across the country in areas such as the Northern Territory.

At the end of 2018, 14.8 GW of new generation was under construction or financially committed, representing $24.5 billion in investment and more than 13,000 jobs.

In 2018, the percentage of renewable energy passed 20 per cent for the first time, with clean energy contributing 21.3 per cent of Australia's total electricity generation. This was a significant increase compared to 2017, when renewables were responsible for 17 per cent of total electricity generation.

Hydro generation was again Australia's renewable energy leader, accounting for 7.5 per cent of Australia's total national electricity generation in 2018. However, wind was close behind, contributing 7.1 per cent of total electricity generation throughout the year.

Tasmania's considerable hydro resources meant that it continues to lead the way but South Australia was the big story in 2018, with the state getting more than 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

Other key findings:

The renewable energy industry was responsible for more than 20,000 jobs across the construction, operations and maintenance and rooftop solar installation sectors in 2018.

28 large-scale solar projects were completed in 2018, with the amount of new capacity installed more than 14 times higher than the sector's previous best year. At the end of 2018, a further 59 large-scale solar projects were either under construction or financially committed.

The more than 850 MW of new wind farm capacity installed in 2018 made it the best ever year for the technology. At the end of 2018, 24 wind farms with a combined capacity of 5.69 GW were under construction or financially committed, representing more than $8 billion of investment and almost 5000 jobs.

In 2018, 20 corporate power purchase agreements were signed around Australia for a total of 931 MW and supporting projects with a total capacity of 2600 MW.

State by state snapshot

In the absence of a national climate or energy policy, the states have taken up the mantle, making significant investments in new renewable energy capacity.

State by state: total renewable generation (GWH) 48279

WA penetration of renewables 16% GWH 3073
SA penetration 53% GWH 7152
NT penetration no results
Tas 96% gwh 11584
Vic 21% and 9908
NSW 15% 10355
Qld 10% 6206

 

 

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