Australia: 2016 a record year in green investment

Australia: 2016 a record year in green investment

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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Over the last year Canberra quintupled resources allocated to renewable projects. An unprecedented commitment that brings the continent closer to the green targets set for 2020

In 2016 Australia reached its record of renewable energy investments compared to the previous year, approaching its target of 23.5% green energy by 2020. The good news was given by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER), which has increased its financial commitment fivefold compared to 2015, with over 4 billion Australian dollars (2.99 billion US dollars) needed to add another 2GW of energy from clean sources. The sector that received the most support was solar power, both large as well as smallscale. Among the 98 new plants commissioned in 2016, 86 were largescale PV plants, while no fewer than 182,000 new smallscale installations were made. "Largescale solar technology has almost halved its cost in recent years, making solar energy competitive not only compared to wind power but also compared to fossil fuels," the head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Ludovic Théau, stated. Everything is thus heading in the right direction to enable the achievement of the target set. And 2017 has already started off on the right footing: Over the last three months more than 2 billion dollars have been allocated for renewable energy, an unprecedented commitment which is equivalent to an increase of 7.4 billion dollars for 330 MW of new clean energy capacity. The construction of the new plants is expected to begin by the end of this year and, according to CER forecasts, could create more than 4,000 new jobs.