Australia sees "unprecedented" renewables investment in 2017
Nyngan Solar Plant. Image by Clean Energy Council (www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au).
Australia is seeing a record-breaking year for renewable energy investment as AUD 7.4 billion (USD 5.6bn/EUR 5.1bn) worth of projects are in progress, have been completed or will start in 2017, the Clean Energy Council said on Tuesday.
The figure got a significant boost in the last three months, when AUD 2 billion of projects secured financing.
Overall, there are now 35 large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia that are under construction, will start construction or have been completed this year. Together they represent 3,549.4 MW of capacity and more than AUD 7.4 billion of investment. Solar accounts for 1,922.2 MW of the total and wind for 1,647.2 MW, although these include 20 MW of double counted capacity due to solar plus wind projects.
"Large-scale solar technology has approximately halved in price over just the last few years, making it competitive not only with wind power but with fossil fuels such as gas," the trade body's chief executive Kane Thornton said in the statement. "Renewable energy is now the cheapest kind of power generation it is possible to build today, and solar power plants have a relatively short project lead time compared to other technologies," Thornton added.