All things considering, a majority of energy industry bodies would consider the 2010s a successful decade for renewables. But looking towards the era of the 2020s, it’s expected to be even better.
We’ve come along way; according to Eco Generation, 8.7 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generations came from sources relating to renewable energy. Of this, hydro was responsible for approximately two-thirds. By the end of 2019, this total figure had jumped up to 21.3 per cent, with 60 per cent of it coming directly from solar PV and wind developments.
In hindsight, we had no choice. Ageing infrastructure and an outdated grid meant we had to make a move somewhere, as the energy market struggled to keep up with the switch to renewables. All of the regulators and developers will tell you how much of a headache that was.
Australian politics aside, we’ve managed to secure some wins for renewables, and if we’re to use the last 10 years as a forecast for the next 10, then we can keep a smile on our dials.
So what exactly should we be focusing on in the industry, in order to maintain growth in 2020?
The biggest focus areas for renewable energy in 2020
Our grid must change
It’s undeniable that our grid infrastructure still needs a major overhaul. Clean energy is undeniably the future of our electricity generation, and as it continues to expand in 2020, the grid will need to overcome its issues around integrating this technology into the overall system.
Battery storage will be a top priority
Much the same as 2019, grid-scale batteries will be in high demand across 2020 as operators try to minimise the challenges of solar uptake. Household batteries will be the key here and we can expect more property owners to take on their own storage systems across the nation.
Discussions on climate change will drive the industry
We’ve seen more politics around clean energy in 2019 than ever before and this won’t change in 2020. Summer has been disastrous so far; bushfires have ripped through the country and the politics around climate change have been thrown under the spotlight inevitably. This increasing emphasis will steer discussions around our energy systems in more positive directions, as our country looks to manage the many challenges around extreme weather conditions and outdated infrastructure.
Exports will deliver big opportunities
As the National Hydrogen Strategy solidifies and studies around similar projects begin to surface – such as the Sun Cable project – we’ll see more potential opportunities for exportation. For Australia, this is a big chance to become a leader in the market, and we’re expecting plenty of announcements coming our way.