Hydro, wind equal for Aust renewable power

(Australian Associated Press)


Wind and hydro provided near identical amounts of power to the electricity system for the first time last year.

There’s an unprecedented level of renewable energy activity expected in the coming years, a Clean Energy Council report has found.

“The large-scale renewable projects either under construction or which had attracted finance add up to more than seven times the amount of work completed in 2017,” chief executive Kane Thornton says.

The report, released on Tuesday, shows clean energy dipped from 17.3 per cent of the national mix to 17 per cent last year, in part because of reduced rainfall in hydro generation catchments.

But that was offset by a rise in other kinds of renewables.

Hydro and wind each made up one third of renewable energy generated last year, and 5.7 per cent of total electricity generated around the country.

New renewable energy projects coming on line in the coming years are expected to reduce power prices by six per cent on average, Mr Thornton said.

He believes the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee is headed in the right direction but he’s unsure about the 26 per cent emissions reduction target for the electricity sector is enough.

“(It) is unlikely to encourage the new renewable energy to continue to drive down power prices as our old coal power plants continue to close,” he said.

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