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Australia: A Clean Energy Superpower

Australia: A Clean Energy Superpower
March 15, 2022 Rosie Ranson

In 2020, around 24% of the total electricity production in Australia was from renewable energy sources. The main contributors were

  • Solar (9%)
  • Wind (9%)
  • Hydro (6%) [1].

Recently, large-scale solar production has begun rapid expansion across Australia. Large-scale solar production has expanded from insignificant levels before 2016 to 3% of all Australian electricity generation in 2020, demonstrating a four-year expansion rate of 1,268% [2]. Although the recent surge in large-scale solar production is commendable, recent data compiled by analysts at Rystad Energy shows that a solar facility originally built in 2012 is outperforming its younger solar schemes. [1]

Greenough River Solar Farm

In February 2022, Australia’s oldest solar farm “Greenough River” was the best performing solar asset in the country. Built by First Solar in 2012 with an initial capacity of 10MW, Greenough River Solar Farm was Australia’s first utility-scale solar farm. The solar farm is situated on 80 hectares of private land in Western Australia [3], and was recently expanded by 30 MW, using solar tracking technology. Surprisingly, in February 2022, Greenough River was the top-performing solar asset across the entirety of Australia. In Australia, utility-scale solar PV and wind assets generated a total of 3,347 GWh, up from 2,700 GWh in February 2021. An impressive rise of 24%! [4]

Australia as a Clean Energy Superpower

The world’s largest renewable power station is planned for a vast area of desert in remote NW Australia. Named “Asian Renewable Energy Hub,” the renewable power station will comprise 1,600 wind turbines and a 78 sq. km array of solar panels. The solar-wind hybrid power station includes:

  • 26 GW of wind and solar generation
  • At least 3 GW of generation capacity for Pilbara energy users
  • Up to 23 GW of generation to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia
  • Up to 100 TWh of total annual generation
  • The design life of 50+ years. [5]

The power station will enable competitively priced predictable and firm renewable electricity output, 365 days a year.

australia clean energy

Figure 1: Australian Flag [6]

The Future of Clean Energy in Australia

The future is bright for Australia’s renewable energy sector. If planned correctly and implemented swiftly, Australia can utilise existing new technology to become a renewable exporting superpower. Why not import clean energy from one of the sunniest places on the planet?

About Pager Power

Pager Power undertakes technical assessments for developers of renewable energy projects and tall buildings. For more information about what we do, please get in touch.

References

[1] Parkinson, G., 2022. Australia’s oldest solar farm was the country’s best performing in February. [online] RenewEconomy.
[2] Carroll, D., 2022. Australia’s oldest solar farm shines bright as new asset nears completion. [online] pv magazine Australia.
[3] Firstsolar.com. 2022. Projects. [online]
[4] Parkinson, G., 2022. Australia’s oldest solar farm was the country’s best performing in February. [online] RenewEconomy.
[5] Asianrehub.com. 2022. About the Asian Renewable Energy Hub – Asian Renewable Energy Hub. [online]
[6] Flag of Australia (January 2019) from Pexels. Accessed on 14th March 2022. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/flag-of-australia-1766215/

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