Australia could soon have enough megawatt-hours of renewable energy to move to 100 per cent renewables if all of the wind, solar and storage projects currently in the pipeline go to plan.
New research from Norway-based company Rystad shows that the pipeline of wind, solar and storage projects in Australia will likely reach 100GW before the upcoming federal election in May, which would meet Australia’s current energy demand.
The research, reported this week by Renew Ecomony, includes projects in 'concept' stage, and those seeking development approvals, already have DAs, have won contracts, are under construction, or are already built.
Rystad described the 100GW level as a symbolic milestone, and noted that 6.65GW of new capacity from 62 assets were added to its database in January and February - twice the number in the same period of 2018.
Rystad senior analyst David Dixon said this “clearly shows the confidence investors have in Australia’s renewable future”.
According to Rystad, NSW is leading the way in aggregated totals of renewable energy projects in the pipeline. Queensland is dominated by solar projects and South Australia is predicted to install wind and solar capacity to deliver the equivalent of 100 per cent of its demand as early as 2026 or 2027.
Hurdles along the way to realising all the planned solar and wind energy projects include tackling local issues, connection and financing challenges as well as changing technology, according to Renew Economy, and a total switch to renewable energy would also require a wholesale review of practices and market rules on issues such as new technology and fast-response batteries.