Solar boom as renewable power surges!

Australia is in the midst of an unprecedented engineering and construction boom in renewable energy.

The Clean Energy Council reports 14.6 gigawatts of new renewable energy projects are under construction.

Making conservative adjustments for average capacity factor of wind and solar production, this is equivalent to more than four times the energy output of the Liddell Power Station.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said: “The total value of the projects underway is double where we were at the end of last year.

“Plus, the wind and solar projects completed in 2018 add up to $6 billion, taking the total of projects completed or underway this year to more than $26 billion.”

A record $20 billion in investments has been committed and under way across the country (see graphic).

The 80 committed projects will create an additional 13,000 direct jobs.

The biggest winners from the $20 billion worth of new renewable energy projects are:

# Queensland: $6.9 billion of investment, more than 4500 direct jobs and 5640 megawatts (MW) of new capacity

# Victoria: $5.2 billion of investment, more than 3800 direct jobs and 3400 MW

# New South Wales: $4.3 billion of investment, more than 2100 direct jobs and 3500 MW

Clearly such a boom in engineering is drawing in manufactures in multiple fields helping buoy the sector which remains a bright spot in the Australian economy.

Regional industry is a particular beneficiary of such decentralised and massive investment.

But Thornton warned that while the states were now taking the initiative a continuation of this level f construction required stable policies at the federal level.

“While new investment no longer requires subsidy, it does require long-term energy policy certainty.

“As the year closes, we are no closer to national, bipartisan energy and climate policy. If anything we are further away than when we started.”

Graphic: Clean Energy Council

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