Australia is about to meet its renewable energy goals at lightning speed.
The Clean Energy Regulator, the government body responsible for overseeing the targets, announced recently that it has given the thumbs-up to enough energy capacity to meet its target for large-scale grid projects. The goal was to produce 33,000 gigawatt-hours of clean energy by 2020.
“It is now certain Australia will generate enough renewable energy to meet the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target,” David Parker, the chairman of the Clean Energy Regulator, said in a statement.
Australia, which was the 15th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2015, has taken a number of steps to encourage renewable adoption. The national government, as part of its aim to meet the target, has subsidized the construction of wind, solar and hydro energy.
These initiatives are paying off. Wind and solar moved from the most expensive forms of energy in 2001 to the cheapest today. These declining prices are expected to have a knock-on effect, with analysis from RepuTex claiming the country could reach 50 percent renewables by 2030 without any new policies, thanks to declining prices.
Imperial College London data shows that Australia ranked 10th in terms of renewable capacity additions from 2008 to 2017, adding 0.4 kilowatts per person, edging out the 12th-placed United States but adding less than half the capacity of first-placed Germany.