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A snapshot of Australia’s renewables

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Energy Global,

Jessica Casey, Editor, Energy Global, UK, provides a brief overview of some key renewable projects currently under development in Australia.

Australia has an abundance of natural resources, and is well positioned to help itself, and potentially even other countries in Asia, to reach climate goals and aid with the decarbonisation of the world. For example, Australia has the world’s highest per capita solar resource in G20,1 and one of the highest in the world. The Australian regional report in the Winter 2022 issue of Energy Global provided insight into the different types of renewable energy being utilised in Australia.2 The article in this issue will provide a more in-depth look at some of the key renewable projects mentioned in previous report, focusing on solar, offshore wind, and hydropower.

Sun Cable solar farm

Sun Cable is developing the world’s largest solar energy infrastructure network, and is located in Darwin in the North Territories, Australia. As mentioned in the previous regional report on Australia, the project is not expected to generate any electricity until 2026, but its large planned size, combined with a battery 150 times larger than the 150 MW Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia,3 will make it possible to power whole cities with renewable energy.

One such way Sun Cable is aiming to achieve this is via its AAPowerLink project. The idea is that it will harness and store solar energy from Darwin for 24/7 transmission to Singapore via a high voltage direct current transmission system.1 Asia’s renew-ables sector also has a lot of potential for growth, especially in light of the Paris Agreement targets and goals to decarbonise heavy industries. However, as Charlie Durant wrote in the Spring 2023 regional report on Asia, the continent will face challenges in regards to its energy transition away from fossil fuels.4 A couple of factors that are mentioned are the cost of commodities, and the supply-demand imbalances of critical metals, notably copper, which are crucial in the manufacturing of green technologies such as wind and solar. Singapore is currently reliant upon gas for approximately 95% of its electricity generation; the proposed Powerlink by Sun Cable could be capable of supplying up to 15% of Singapore’s total electricity needs, as well as support the transition of the Northern Territory economy.3

An environmental impact statement (EIS) is being prepared by both the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments, with the governments of Singapore and Indonesia also undertaking a separate EIS. The studies will look for ways to minimise, and possibly even avoid, any potential impacts to the environment and heritage values, as well as greenhouse gas emissions during the construction phase.3

Snowy 2.0

Hydropower will be important in helping Australia achieve its net zero goals, and the Australian government is putting multiple schemes in place and investing in hydropower, as well as pumped hydro storage. One such way the government is achieving this is by providing additional equity to Snowy Hydro Ltd to construct Snowy 2.0.5

For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, read the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.

Energy Global's Autumn 2023 is-sue

The Autumn 2023 issue of Energy Global hosts an array of technical articles focusing on green hydrogen, wind installation technology, blade monitoring solutions, and more. This issue also features a regional report looking at some key renewables projects in Australia.

Enjoyed what you've read so far? Read the full article and the rest of the Autumn issue of Energy Global by registering today for free!

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