More than double the number of new large-scale renewable energy power stations were accredited in 2016 than in 2015—98 compared with 4825.
This brings the overall total number of large-scale renewable energy power stations accredited under the Renewable Energy Target to 587.
In 2016, as shown in table 1, solar dominated accreditation numbers for the third year running, accounting for 86 of the 98 large-scale renewable energy power stations accredited in 2016. However, accredited capacity of wind was higher than solar.
88 per cent of all power stations accredited in 2016 were solar.
There has also been a consistent increase in the number of commercial and industrial solar power stations. Generally, these commercial and industrial solar power stations have a capacity of less than one megawatt. Businesses typically use these systems to reduce their electricity bills.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme caps solar panel systems at 100 kilowatts (0.1 megawatts). Systems over this size can participate in the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target. We are noticing that participants who would traditionally enter the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme are now moving into the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target with larger systems. This may be influenced by the increase in the price of large-scale generation certificates, currently more than double the price of small-scale technology certificates, and the reducing cost of technology.
There was a
43 per cent increase in utility scale solar accredited in 2016 compared to 2015.
There was also an increase in the number of utility-scale solar power stations, which have a capacity of more than one megawatt.
The cost of construction for solar projects is falling, and solar is predicted to be the most cost-effective technology in many countries by 203026. Solar projects are also faster to build than other fuel sources, so more are coming online and starting to generate power more quickly.
25 This was reported as 41 in the 2015 Renewable Energy Target Administrative Report. This has been revised to 48, as seven renewable power stations processed in 2016 had an accreditation start date in 2015.
26 Bloomberg New Energy Finance New Energy Outlook 2016,
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