Solar power is continuing to surge ahead as the world’s emerging energy technology, according to a United Nations report that found global spending on solar was higher than any other energy source in 2017.
Australia increased renewable investment by 147 per cent to $8.5 billion
Based on 2017 rates, Australia could replace coal power stations in next 20 years
45 per cent of worldwide renewable energy investment came from China
In a record-breaking year for renewable energy creation worldwide, the 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity was higher than all other technologies, including other renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels.
Australia’s own spending on solar skyrocketed with a significant boost in investment from South Australia, according to Iain MacGill from UNSW.
“We have the highest [per capita] rooftop residential solar market in the world, and by quite a big margin,” Dr MacGill said.
“A large proportion of Australia’s investment has gone into South Australia [and that means] we’re at the leading edge of working out how to integrate that renewable power into the electricity market.”
But Australia was starting from a low base, according to the ANU’s Energy Change Institute director Ken Baldwin, who said our transition to renewables still has some way to go.
“What will be interesting to see is whether this can be maintained,” Professor Baldwin said.
“There was 6 gigawatts of solar, both residential and commercial installed in [Australia] in 2017.