The ACT’s clean energy target drove at least half of the new renewable energy that came online across South Australia, Victoria and the ACT last year, a new report from the Climate Council says.
States and territories are driving the transition to renewable energy in the absence of action from the federal government, the Climate Council’s latest state-by-report found.
The ACT was described as one of the frontrunners in the Australian renewable energy race, with 22 per cent of our electricity coming from renewable sources last year.
This is an increase from 19 per cent in 2015.
However the ACT was still lagging behind South Australia where 47 per cent of their electricity came from renewables last year and Tasmania, on 92 per cent.
However four more wind farms will come online between now and 2019, helping the ACT to reach its commitment of 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020.
More than half (143MW) of new renewable energy added in 2016 was supported by the ACT’s renewable energy target.
The Climate Council praised the ACT’s progressive transition to renewables in the context of “national policy uncertainty”, saying the territory capitalised on its “first mover advantage” to attract some of the best prices for energy.
“The ACT’s leadership on renewable energy shows the positive impact that one small territory can have in a few short years with political will and smart policy design,” the council said.
About 16 per cent of Australia’s energy last year came from renewable sources.
South Australia and NSW experienced the largest increase in use of renewable electricity.
Renewable energy usage in Western Australia and the Northern Territory remained the same.
Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia continue to lead in the proportion of homes with rooftop solar.
Only 14 per cent of ACT households had rooftop solar panels, one of the lowest proportions in Australia.
This article first appeared in the Brisbane Times on 31 August 2017