A new report has named wind power the most promising renewable energy source in Australia in terms of new construction projects over the next 12 months.
Published by building and construction research firm BCI Australia, the Renewable Energy in the Age of Climate Targets and Carbon Tax report says that, thanks to a combination of government incentives and programs to foster the transition toward a low carbon economy, the renewable energy sector has seen remarkable growth in Australia and New Zealand.
The report posits that, in Australia, wind power offers the best immediate prospects for construction starts while New Zealand’s renewable energy future will be shaped by geothermal and wind power.
“Wind power appears to be the most promising renewable energy source [for construction starts in the next 12 months] in Australia,” the report says. “The majority of projects can be found in early development stages and are located in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. The projects range in value from $5 million up to $1.5 billion, comprising installations of three to 300 wind turbine generators.”
The report notes that New South Wales is investing in wind power in a big way, with $13.8 billion in wind farm investments currently in the works.
By contrast, the immediate outlook for solar projects is not encouraging. Despite acknowledging a surge in construction starts of projects installing solar PV systems over the past 12 months, BCI says it expects activity in this sector to drop back following the abolition of incentive programs in several states.
Furthermore, BCI says, the majority of new projects planned in the residential sector, which accounts for most of the new projects with solar PC systems, are still in the concept stage.
In New Zealand, BCI says the renewable energy future will be shaped by geothermal and wind power.
The geothermal sector will see high investment rates in more than a dozen new projects currently in the pipeline, BCI says. A significant increase in wind projects will be noted over the next 12 months.
With 77 per cent of its energy needs already being met through renewable sources, the New Zealand government wants to increase this to 90 per cent by 2025, and is looking to use wind and other renewable sources in order to make this happen.