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Renewable energy mix in Australia

With Australia’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to reach the Renewable Energy Target and Kyoto target, the government has supported numerous renewable energy initiatives across the country. A breakdown per state can be seen as follows.

In New South Wales, six per cent of the state’s total electricity usage is provided by renewable energy sources, with solar contributing to 1 per cent of the renewable energy created. The New South Wales government’s state plan aims to achieve 20 per cent of renewable energy consumption by 2020.

Numerous solar incentives have also been provided by the Queensland government for solar system installations in homes and businesses. The Queensland Renewable Energy Plan is also aiming at achieving a 20 per cent share of the national Renewable Energy Target or up to $3.5 billion in new investment of renewable energy. To date, over 146,000 solar power systems has been installed following the Solar Bonus Scheme.

Data from the South Australian government has shown that as of August 2011, approximately 127 megawatts of residential solar power systems have been installed. The government has also supported and provided funding for numerous major solar energy projects including a 1MW solar power station at the Adelaide Showground, a 114kW solar power system at the Adelaide Airport, and many more.

Further to residential initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Victorian government has also engaged in the Solar Cities Program which aims to provide support to large scale trials of solar. Existing projects include the Central Victorian Solar Cities project, and the Coburg Solar Village project.

The West Australian government has adopted renewable energy projects to support the nation’s renewable energy target of 20 per cent renewable energy generation by 2020. Data from 2009/10 showed that renewable energy contributed to 2.9 per cent of all electricity consumed in the state. Solar power is currently trending towards isolated solar power systems in remote areas around the state, however, the government has predicted that with the rise in electricity prices, many households will invest in rooftop solar power systems.

The Tasmanian government’s commitment in renewable energy is reflective in that 87 per cent of the state’s installed electricity generation capacity is from renewable energy sources including hydro and wind power. Solar panels have been integrated in the King Island Integrated Renewable Energy Project which aims to provide 65 per cent of the island’s electricity requirements.

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