According to The Australian Financial Review, further evidence has emerged of the flood of investment flowing into wind and solar power, defying earlier doubts about the level of penetration of renewable energy on the national grid.
As of the end of December, there were 4,417 megawatts of renewables projects under construction around the country, up by almost 500 MW from a month earlier, according to data released on Thursday by Green Energy Markets, an adviser on clean energy.
Wind farms under construction will produce twice as much power every year as the existing Snowy Hydro scheme, and when combined with wind farms already in operation, wind will supply five times power electricity each year, the firm said. Across wind and solar, projects committed in 2017 should generate more than 10,000 gigawatt-hours a year.
"The level of investment commitments to new utility-scale renewable energy capacity in 2017 has dwarfed prior years, blasting away doubts about what Australia could achieve," it said.
In December, renewable plants contributed 16.3 per cent of the electricity generated across Australia's main power grids, with the biggest contribution from wind, at 1150 gigawatt-hours, the firm calculated.
The report comes days after the Clean Energy Regulator confirmed that the 2020 target for large-scale renewable energy investment would be met early, after record capital spending on projects in 2017.
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