How Australia is playing a crucial role in revving up global green transition

September 10, 2021 10:00 AM AEST | By Arpit Verma
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  • Australia's clean energy contribution has increased from 17% in 2016 to 27% in 2020.
  • More than 25% of the country’s total electricity generation came from renewables in 2020.
  • Australia has increased its renewable energy capacity from 38,172GWh in 2017 to a massive 62,917GWh in 2020.

The renewable energy sector of Australia has witnessed notable progress over the last five years. The country's clean energy sector has taken a leap from around 17% contribution in 2016 to more than 27% in 2020. The solar and wind energy are the major contributors to the sector, oiling the wheels of the country’s green energy transition.

A massive growth in the installation of rooftop solar and wind turbines has accelerated the country's clean energy transition drive. However, a substantial contribution from other clean sources like hydrogen and battery storage has also helped the country to take a quantum leap towards its goal of emerging as a potential clean energy superpower.

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Record-breaking 2020

Despite the COVID-19 challenges, the growth in Australia’s renewable energy sector hasn’t stopped due to increased support from the country’s government. The sector has set numerous records in 2020.


Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd | Data Source: Clean Energy Australia Report 2021

It was for the first time in 2020 that more than a quarter of the country's total electricity generation came from renewables.

The small-scale solar sector added more than 3GW of new capacity in 2020 while the large-scale sector accounted for almost 2GW of new capacity in 2020. The country also completed 32 new projects in 2020.

Adding to this, Australia had nearly 76 large-scale solar and wind projects under construction phase, with a capacity of over 8GW, by the end of 2020.

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The small-scale solar sector recorded its fourth consecutive record-breaking year and added over 3 GW of new capacity during the year.

However, wind remains at the top position of the leader board by contributing nearly 10% of the total energy generation of the country.

Milestones of 2020

Australia has increased its renewable energy capacity from 38,172GWh in 2017 to a massive 62,917GWh in 2020.

Tasmania's renewable energy production remained higher than its consumption during 2020. The state also aims to increase its renewables capacity by a whopping 200% by 2040 to become a major clean energy exporter.

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd | Data Source: Clean Energy Australia Report 2021

Other significant breakthroughs during the year are as follows:

  • Australia installed the highest ever 378,451 rooftop solar systems in 2020.
  • The country has announced 26 corporate power purchase agreements.
  • Australia had 16 utility-scale batteries under construction by the end of 2020, indicating remarkable growth in the storage capacity space.

Good Read: How climate crisis can affect your personal finance

Bottom Line

Australia has taken giant strides in the renewable energy space in the last five years. The country has produced more than 25% of its total energy from renewable sources for the first time in 2020.


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