A total of 41 large-scale renewable energy projects with a total capacity of about 4,330 MW have been committed so far this year in Australia, the Clean Energy Council reports.
The schemes will require an "unprecedented wave of investment" surpassing AUD 8.7 billion (USD 6.75bn/EUR 5.78bn) and create a total of 4,680 new direct jobs, the industry peak body said in a statement.
Of these 41 projects, one is already completed -- the 240-MW Ararat wind farm in Victoria that required an investment of AUD 450 million. Almost half of the remaining projects are located in Queensland.
A total 26 projects for a combined capacity 1,881 MW are already under construction. They require investments of AUD 4.26 billion. Fourteen projects with a combined capacity of 2,210.2 MW and total value of AUD 4.02 billion have the financial commitment to start construction in 2017.
When it comes to technologies used, solar accounts for 2,132.2 MW worth AUD 3.7 billion and wind for 2,220.2 MW valued at AUD 5.12 billion.
“We have already seen six times the investment value in 2017 of what we saw in 2016, and the new capacity will also help with energy security. In 2016, the combined capacity from all projects completed stood at 264.1 MW,” said CEO Kane Thornton.
Menawhile, Thornton noted that it is time to lock in a long-term energy policy to incentivise new investment far beyond 2020.
Leaving large-scale projects aside, there are also more than 1,000 MW of rooftop solar systems expected to be delivered for Australian homes and businesses this year.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.777/EUR 0.664)
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