Australia set new records for renewable capacity installation and total electricity generated from renewables in 2019.

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.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said this figure places Australia 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, Taylor said it 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,” Taylor said.

“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 10 times the global average.”

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, he said.

“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,” Taylor said.

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