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Australia is a prime example where the renewable energy sector has been growing at a torrid pace despite an unfavorable government which wants to stifle its growth. The country has seen a huge step up in the growth of its overall solar and wind energy capacities in the last couple of years as economics have made both solar and wind energy extremely favorable as compared to coal and gas.
Note despite having huge reserves of cheap coal, renewable energy is surging in Australia as technology has made the cost of solar go lower than that of fossil fuels. The country saw more than 5000 MW of solar and wind energy capacity installed in 2018 which was more than double of what was installed in 2017. Solar energy made 80% of the capacity installed with wind energy making up the rest.
Australia has been at the forefront of installing rooftop solar energy which saw a huge uptake in the whole country due to good feed-in tariff policies enacted by different state governments such as New South Wales in the early parts of the decade. Now large scale ground-mounted solar utility systems have taken up the mantle with large plants being approved in the state. With costs of solar diving, private developers have made plans to install thousands of megawatts across the country. Even wind energy is seeing an uptick with costs of wind equipment also becoming cheaper though not at the pace being seen in solar energy. Read the advantages of solar farms over rooftop solar installations.
The current Coalition government has been hostile to renewable energy interests saying that the costs are higher though the reality is the other way round. However, even a bad government can only work against economics for so long. Though Australian energy ministers have warned against clean energy saying that it would increase costs for consumers, renewable energy capacity has come up in leaps and bounds. Even rooftop solar has continued its golden run with millions of Australians now using solar panels on their homes to cut electricity costs and improving the environment. Even now 1000 MW of rooftop solar capacity was installed last year despite the sharp cut in subsidy support. With storage also becoming a major part of the mix, expect renewable energy to continue its growth in Australia despite the shenanigans of its rulers.