Latest figures show that a record 13.14 per cent of Australia’s electricity was from renewable energy in 2012, powering almost 4 million homes.
Hydro-electricity contributes more than half of the renewable share, however, wind and solar have rapidly increased in recent years, contributing 26 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
It was found that over $4 billion was invested in the renewable energy industry last year, contributing to approximately 24,300 jobs in the economy in 2012. Clean Energy Council chief executive, David Green said that Australia was making substantial progress in the renewable energy industry:
“Earlier this year the millionth solar power system was installed, while last year was a record one for Australia’s wind power businesses, with the country’s 62 wind farms powering the equivalent of more than one million homes for the first time. These milestones clearly show the progress towards cleaner sources of power.”
However, despite clean energy expansion, there has been a dip in the investment of renewables in Australia with the market contracting by 1.3 Billion from $5.5 billion in 2011.
Uncertainty surrounding the environmental policy of a likely coalition victory has put investment on hold. This has included uncertainty about the fate of the carbon tax and renewable energy targets that have been set. There has also been increasing calls from big power suppliers such as Origin Energy and Energy Australia who are pushing to scrap the RET and scale back the carbon tax.