Climate Council: SA, TAS and ACT leading the renewables charge

SA

A Climate Council report states who they see as leading the charge of Australia’s transition to clean, affordable and efficient renewable energy and storage technology.

The Renewables Ready: States Leading the Charge report shows South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory are all leading the renewables race, while the Federal Government remains stuck at the starting block.

“Every state and territory, with exception of Western Australia, is taking energy and climate policy into their own hands, with strong renewable energy targets or net zero emissions targets in place,” said Climate Councillor and veteran energy expert Andrew Stock.

“States and territories previously lagging (NT, NSW and WA), are now stepping up the pace, joining the enormous progress we’re seeing across the nation,” he said.

Climate councillor and former president of BP Australasia, Greg Bourne said Australians are embracing solar energy in droves, with more than 5.6GW generated on the rooftops of 1.7 million homes.

“Australia is one of the sunniest countries in the world, so it’s no surprise we’ve already rolled out enough solar to power the lights at the MCG every day for 20,000 years,” he said.

Some of the key findings included in the report are:

  • In the absence of national energy and climate policy, all states and territories (except Western Australia) now have strong renewable energy targets and/or net zero emissions targets in place.
  • State and territory targets and announced coal closures are expected to deliver Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target of 26-28 per cent reduction on 2005 levels.
  • TAS, SA and the ACT continue to lead on percentage renewable electricity.
  • SA, TAS and the ACT have the most renewable energy capacity per capita (excluding large-hydro).
  • NSW and QLD are set for a dramatic increase in renewable energy with the greatest capacity and number (respectively) of projects under construction in 2017.
  • Households in QLD, SA and WA continue to lead in the proportion of homes with rooftop solar.
  • SA is building the world’s largest lithium ion battery storage facility.

The report said that Andrew Stock, an energy sector veteran who oversaw the major project developments, including the last three large gas power stations on the east coast, said that this shows that Australian states and territories are rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job of tackling climate change, despite a total lack of Federal Government support.

“If Australia’s clean energy future was the Melbourne Cup, the states and territories are racing ahead and surging towards the home stretch, while the Federal Government’s still somehow stuck in the stalls, along with its climate and energy policy,” Stock said.