A new Green Energy Markets report has found that between July 2016 and June 2017 Australia produced enough renewable energy to power 7.1 million homes, or 70 per cent of all households in the country.
The Renewable Energy Index 2016-2017 Benchmark Report also found that renewables make up 17.2 per cent of the electricity generated in Australia; and the amount of renewable energy used last financial year avoided an amount of carbon pollution equal to removing 8.1 million cars from the road whichis more than half of all the cars in Australia.
Fortyeight large-scale renewable energy projects were under construction at the end of 2016-17. On a smaller scale, 150,000 rooftop solar systems were installed in the year to June 2017.
In a separate report by The Australian Institute, National Energy Emissions Audit – Electricity Update, found that total emissions from electricity generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM) fell slightly in the year to June 2017, showing the emissions abatement benefit of the Hazelwood power station closure in March 2017.
In the year to June 2017, total demand for electricity in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia decreased for the fourth successive month; demand stayed almost precisely constant in South Australia, and increased in New South Wales and Tasmania. For the NEM as a whole, the overall outcome was a small drop in total demand, after a small increase in May 2017.