The latest Climate Council scorecard report on renewable energy dubbed GAME ON: THE AUSTRALIAN RENEWABLE ENERGY RACE HEATS UP gives very interesting statistics that reveal a remarkable increase in support for renewable energy across all Australian states and territories.
According to the scorecard, the ACT and South Australia are the TOP performing states on renewable energy. NSW lags behind with the lowest percentage of renewable power.
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Notable, however, is ACT’s excellent performance which is hugely attributed to the state’s efforts in achieving its target of 100 per cent renewable power by 2020. South Australia’s increased investment in renewables also pushed its energy mix from a mere 26 per cent in 2013 to a staggering 40 per cent in 2014—strongly indicating progress.
The report further ranks New South Wales as the worst performing state because it had the lowest (and continues to decrease) percentage of renewable electricity. Apart from Victoria, all the other states have enhanced the renewable energy proportion of their electricity supply in the last few years.
Grading for the six states:
South Australia: A
Western Australia: C
New South Wales: D
Due to lack of comparable data on renewable energy proportions in electricity supply for the various Australian territories, there was no grading for this category. However, the Climate Council further notes that since its 2014 report, the Northern Territory has only made a slight progress on renewables.
The scorecard ratings are generally based on policy settings (policies, targets and program support) and performance indicators (Percentage of renewable energy in electricity supply, installed large-scale renewable energy capacity per person, proportion of households with solar PV).
When it comes to uptake of residential solar power systems, the report shows that 29.6 per cent of the sunshine state, Queensland households have installed solar panels, while 28.8 per cent of homes in South Australia have rooftop solar, followed by 22.5 per cent for Western Australia. Previously, SA had the highest percentage of household solar.
”There are now fourteen postcodes in Australia in which more than half of households have rooftop solar,” the Climate Council stated. ” Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels could soon become as common as home insulation.”
According to the findings in the report, the total number of Australian states and territories with renewable energy targets doubled in 2015.
Unfortunately, fossil fuels appear to take the largest proportion of the Australian energy mix. In Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, fossil fuels account for about 90 per cent or more of the overall electricity supply.
Today, Australia has the highest number of household solar PV installations and is ranked sixth globally for overall solar (PV and solar thermal) installation capacity per capita. As a matter of fact, last year, Australia claimed the accolade of the first developed country to cut its national Renewable Energy Target.
Even though, the scorecard report indicates that unlike other countries, when it comes to renewable energy, Australia lacks proper direction and focus at the federal level. This has forced most states and territories to take the initiative of setting their own renewable energy targets in a bit to effectively address the issue of climate change.
Note: The scorecard report, Game On: The Australian Renewable Energy Race Heats Up can be downloaded here (PDF).
IMAGE via Energy Matters