Are we meeting our Renewable Energy Target? Well, on current trends you'd have to say, not really.
The Clean Energy Regulator issued a report card on our progress last week and while the official line is that meeting the 23% by 2020 target is ‘on track’, progress was described as ‘adequate under the circumstances’. That's bureacratese for 'gee, we’re not doing very well are we'.
The recently commenced White Rock Wind Farm is the first to be built solely under the RET framework in three years (ie, without the assistance of state-based or other schemes), so we need to see an awful lot more before we’re back in the hunt to meet the target in four years’ time.
In 2015, Australia produced 15,200 gigawatt hours from renewable sources out of a target of 33,000 gigawatt hours, so we're still less than half way there.
And of course, we shouldn't forget that this 33,000 GWh target is a big reduction on the 41,000 GWh target that Tony Abbott took the hatchet to while he was PM.
The regulator estimated that to stay on target, 3000 megawatts of new renewable projects, or approximately 20 large wind farms, needed to be committed for construction this year. As of May 13, only one wind farm of 175 MW and a handful of solar farms had been committed. So there’s some way to go. As we argue in our media release its time the energy retailers got back into the market and starting signing contracts to buy power from new wind farm projects. Only then will we be able to say that Australia is actually meeting its targets.
More info at The Guardian