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Record year of investment means Australia’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target will be met

23 January 2018

The Clean Energy Regulator has today released new information to the market that shows Australia will meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target.

The Regulator has previously said that to meet the 2020 target of 33 000 gigawatt hours of additional renewable energy, approximately 6000 megawatts of large-scale generation capacity would need to be announced and built between 2016 and 2019.

Following a record level of investment in renewable energy in 2017, Clean Energy Regulator Chair David Parker today said we’ve reached a major milestone ahead of schedule.

“While announcements started slowly in 2016, the momentum we saw in the later part of that year continued throughout 2017 and has now reached a level that we believe will be sufficient to meet the 2020 target,” Mr Parker said.

Of the 6532 megawatts of new large-scale generation firmly announced since 2016, more than 4900 megawatts is fully financed, with most already under construction or operating, while the rest is expected to begin construction early this year. A further 1600 megawatts of projects have a power purchase agreement in place which we expect will progress to financial close. Queensland will see the bulk of this new construction, followed by Victoria and New South Wales.

“In 2017, more than 1000 megawatts of renewable projects were completed and began generation, the biggest year ever for new build coming online,” Mr Parker said.

“We expect 2018 and 2019 to be even bigger, with each year having more than double the new build completed compared to 2017.”

Of the firmly announced projects since 2016, solar makes up 46 per cent of the total new capacity.

“Solar is an important emerging player in the energy mix, particularly on long summer days. Over the next few years as more of these projects become operational they will make an increasing contribution to meeting peak electricity demand,” Mr Parker said.

“There is still a long way to go on the journey to reach the 2020 target, but we believe it will be met due to the hard work and tenacity of the electricity sector, the renewables industry and those that have financed these projects."

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