The high number of renewable energy projects being run in 2023, especially in wind power, is creating more and more green jobs across the country. Australia could be transformed into a world leader in the renewable energy industry.
Renewable electricity generation has more than doubled over the last 10 years. In 2022, 32% of Australia’s total electricity generation was from renewable energy sources, including solar (14%), wind (11%) and hydro (6%).
The share of renewables in total electricity generation in 2022 was the highest on record, a share 1 percentage point higher than the earlier 2021-22 financial year. The historical peak of renewables share of total generation was 26% in the mid-1960s as the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme came progressively online.
In 2022, there was a decline in the completion of project developments. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the industry is slowing down. In fact, while there might have been fewer projects completed, the scale of these projects, in terms of both capacity and storage, has shown a significant increase.
Victoria took a pioneering stance in wind power during this period. Specifically, two major wind farms became fully functional in 2022: Stockyard Hill, with a capacity of 531 MW and Moorabool, with 312 MW.
Demonstrating its commitment to renewable energy, Victoria remains at the forefront of wind power generation in Australia. As evidence of this leadership, approximately 33.7% of Australia's wind generation is credited to this state alone.
For a clearer understanding of Australia's ongoing commitment to renewable energy, here's a breakdown of the investment and capacity of large-scale renewable energy projects that are either currently financed or under construction.
Figure 2: Investment in and capacity of large-scale renewable energy projects. Projects currently at financial commitment or under construction (2017 to 31 December 2022). Source: Clean Energy Australia Report 2023.
A significant wind project in development is the 756 MW stage one of the Golden Plains development in Rokewood, Victoria. The state has been the leader in wind power generation for some time and continues to lead the way, accounting for around a third (33.7 per cent) of Australia’s wind generation, so it is likely to retain its status for several years to come. Golden Plains Satege 1 is expected to start in 2025 and will be operated by WestWind Energy & TagEnergy.
2. Clark Creek Wind Farm Stage 1
This project is a development of a 450MW wind farm located at Clarke Creek in the Isaac Shire and Livingstone Shire, Queensland. It consists of 100 wind turbines, each with 4.5MW capacity. Operated by Squadron Energy, the Clarke Creek Wind Farm is expected to start to operate by 2025.
3. MacIntyre Wind Farm
The most significant project in development is Australia’s first gigawatt-scale wind project in southeast Acciona, Queensland, which will comprise two wind farms: the 923 MW MacIntyre facility, majority owned by Spanish energy firm Acciona, and the 103 MW Karara Wind Farm, which will be owned and operated by state-owned CleanCo.
Construction works for the joint project began in May 2022 and are predicted to run for 18-24 months. The facility, Acciona claims, will be capable of generating enough clean electricity to power 700,000 homes. Acciona is working on expanding the project even further with the proposed Herries Range Wind Farm, which would add another 1000 MW of capacity.
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This post was written by: Nana Terra, Content Marketing Coordinator