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Australia boasts record breaking year for clean energy: $4.2bn invested, 13% of electricity, 24k jobs

Date
07 June 2013
Australia boasts record breaking year for clean energy: $4.2bn invested, 13% of electricity, 24k jobs

LONDON: A record-breaking 13% of Australia’s electricity was generated by renewable energy in 2012, according to the Clean Energy Council.

The 2012 Clean Energy Australia Report produced by the Clean Energy Council shows that energy efficiency and renewables are having an increasing influence on the country’s power supply.

The report provides figures on generation, investment, jobs, power prices and clean energy technologies, revealing that Australia’s largest share of renewable energy comes from hydro (58%) followed by wind (26%) and solar (8%).

Highlights for 2012 given in the report include:

  • A record-breaking 13.14% of Australia’s electricity was supplied by renewable energy sources
  • Over AUS$4.2 billion was invested in renewables and smart technology
  • The industry employed over 24,000 people
  • The millionth solar house was registered in March 2013

David Green, chief executive, Clean Energy Council, said: “The clean energy industry contributed US$4.2 billion in investment and approximately 24,300 jobs to the Australian economy in 2012. The cost of fossil fuels such as gas has been going up, while clean energy has been getting cheaper – fast.

He added: “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.”

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group said: “This renewables milestone comes despite Australia’s increasingly challenging political environment for climate change action. The upcoming national election in September is generating significant uncertainty and could even signal a collapse of the climate and clean energy policies that have been enacted by the current government.

“But there is hope; individual states continue to show bold action, such as South Australia, which has established itself as a leader in clean energy deployment and investment. These sub-national governments prove that Australia can realize the huge low carbon opportunity with the right leadership and policy frameworks in place. Australia is already on course to surpass its renewable energy target (over 20% by 2020), and such positive progress - coupled with the urgent need to react to Australia’s increasing extreme weather events - should reinforce the country’s vision that it can still transition to a low carbon future.”

Read the 2012 Clean Energy Australia Report

Our related report: Clean Revolution leadership from the world's states and regions

By Clare Saxon

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