Renewables to fuel three-quarters of main Aussie power grids by 2030: report

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-30 10:51:40|Editor: Yang Yi
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SYDNEY, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The recent rapid rate of wind and solar power installations puts Australia's main grid systems on track to have three-quarters of electricity fueled via renewable energy by 2030, according to a major industry report.

Australian homes and businesses installed more than 150 megawatts of solar energy systems on rooftops in October alone, a record number that was 76 percent higher than the monthly average last year, major energy research group Green Energy Markets said in its latest report provided to Xinhua on Friday.

In terms of large-scale wind and solar farm projects, there were 412 megawatts committed to construction in October, bringing the year to date total to just over 3,200 megawatts, on top of nearly 4,000 megawatts committed in the prior year, according to the group. Its renewable energy index aims to help the industry understand and meet national energy, employment and environmental needs.

"If we maintained over the next decade the record rate of both rooftop solar installations and wind and solar farm construction commitments that have prevailed since 2017 then renewable energy would represent 78 percent of electricity supply across Australia's west and east coast main grids. By comparison renewables made up 22.5 percent in October this year," reported the group.

The renewable energy sector has also "built itself up to such a significant scale that even a 50 percent by 2030 renewables target will involve a significant contraction in activity and employment in the industry," it said.

The amount of megawatts of new renewable energy capacity required each year to achieve a 50 percent target is about 1,850 megawatts and by comparison, the average rate of construction commitments and rooftop solar installations from January 2017 to October 2018 is running at almost 5,150 megawatts a year, according to the group.

"Currently large-scale projects under construction as well as the October rate of solar installations support over 24,000 jobs per annum. The rate of installations required to deliver 50 percent renewable energy would see employment drop by three quarters to just under 5,900 jobs per annum."