Global renewable records have been smashed for 2017, with Australia’s renewable energy investment also jumping by an astonishing 147%, reaching US$ 8.5 billion, according to a new United Nations (UN) report.
The UN ‘Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018’ report shows that the growth of renewable energy doubled that of coal, gas and nuclear combined around the world in 2017 alone. Solar power skyrocketed in popularity, with 98 gigawatts rolled out, equating to the electricity capacity of nearly 1,000 times more of Australia’s largest solar farm.
Climate Council Acting CEO Dr Martin Rice said the record global renewable energy boom shows that the technology is playing a crucial role in transitioning the world away from fossil fuels in a bid to tackle climate change.
“Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, so we shouldn’t be surprised that investment in renewables such as wind and solar is thriving and continues to topple new records around the world,” he said.
“If Australia maintains this momentum then we could see the phasing out of coal within the next two decades, transitioning the nation to an energy grid fit for the 21st century and one that slashes our rising greenhouse gas pollution levels.”
Dr Rice said the report also highlighted that the global push towards clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology was continuing to build significant momentum, with record breaking results.
“China alone is now leading the world for renewable energy, with its investment last year accounting for 45 per cent of the global total in renewables investment, reaching a staggering $126.6 billion,” he said.
The UN recognised Australia as a key contender in the worldwide renewables energy race, with solar investment climbing to $4.9 billion and wind $3.6 billion.
“The data shows that renewable energy accounted for more than 12 per cent of energy generation around the world last year. That’s equivalent to removing around 1.8 gigatonnes of carbon pollution – three times more than Australia’s entire carbon pollution levels during 2016.”
Dr Rice urged Australia to keep up the clean energy and battery storage momentum, despite the absence of credible federal climate and energy policy.
“The Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) threatens to strangle Australia’s renewables boom,” he said.
“States and territories are leading the charge when it comes to the uptake of renewables and tackling climate change. We must continue our wind and solar surge, and move away from ageing, polluting and inefficient fossil fuels that have no place in our energy future.”
The Climate Council has created a climate and energy policy roadmap ‘Clean & Reliable Power: Roadmap to a Renewable Future’, outlining 12 key principles that are essential to tackling climate change in Australia.
For more information please contact Communications Officer Brianna Hudson on 0438 972 260.