Australia looks certain to sail past its 2020 large-scale renewable energy target of 33,000GWh, with the latest data showing the combined capacity of large-scale wind and solar energy projects in the development pipeline is now nudging a massive 9GW.
In its latest monthly update, the Clean Energy Regulator said there was now nearly 9000MW of capacity from new renewable energy projects under construction or already built – considerably more than the 6400MW it has said in the past would be required to meet the RET.
Actually, that task was pretty much ticked off in May of this year, when the CER counted 6553MW of capacity from new renewable energy projects under construction or already built, and declared the RET had been met.
At that time, the CER was forecasting that a further 1454MW of projects were likely to be fully financed and under construction this calendar year, via power purchase agreements. As you can see in the graphs above and below, that number has rather blown out, too.
The August data, published on Tuesday, paints a picture of a big solar boom in progress, with 22 power stations totalling 220MW in capacity accredited for the month – all of them solar PV.
Among them were four utility-scale PV projects (greater than 1MW), including the Ross River Solar Farm in North Queensland – the second-largest power station ever accredited by the CER, with a capacity of 148MW.
On the smaller end of the scale, commercial and industrial projects of less than 1MW numbered 188 by the end of the month, with a combined capacity of 52MW accredited for 2018 – almost double the C&I capacity accredited in 2017.
Other highlights from the month, said the CER, were the clinching of Power Purchase Agreements for Badgingarra Solar farm and Lakeland Wind Farm – projects with a combined capacity of 68MW.
Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.