Oct 2, 2014 - Australia has over 8 GW of construction-ready wind power projects which, if completed, will allow it to meet the existing Renewable Energy Target (RET) for 2020, a new study shows.
These calculations, made by the WindScape Institute, do not include any other renewable energy technology. Combining the existing 3.8 GW of wind farms with 8 GW more will result in annual wind power generation of 41 GWh, which is the RET goal, according to the study.
These figures come at a time when the renewable energy sector is waiting to see if the Australian government will keep the RET programme unchanged or cut the goal and shoo away new green energy investments. “Given the cost benefit to consumers, ease with which the current targets can be attained and deep cuts to emissions that the RET is enabling, it seems almost inconceivable that we are even discussing a change to the RET legislation,” commented Roger Price, chief executive of Canberra-based Windlab Ltd, which is the parent of WindScape.
The study further shows that wind energy in Australia could reach a share of 30% by 2025, if given the chance, as there are over 10 GW of wind projects under development. More specifically, the institute estimates that there are 5.9 GW of projects in the permitting stage and nearly as much “in concept”.
Combined, all projects in the Australian pipeline together with all under-construction and completed ones can bring the continent’s wind capacity to 24 GW. The state of South Australia already sources some 30% of its total electricity from wind farms.
In the study, WindScape institute director Nathan Steggel concludes that there are no technical, financial or economic barriers to the rapid and large-scale deployment of wind into Australia’s electricity supply.
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