January 2018 was a bumper month for Australian solar installations, according to the latest Renewable Energy Index.
Green Energy Markets’ monthly index tracks the amount of clean energy available in Australia. It also records jobs created, power bill savings and environmental benefits.
In addition, combined solar projects for January passed the 10,000 job mark. This will result in predicted savings of $197 million in power bills for households and businesses installing rooftop solar.
As solar installations increase, costs subsequently fall in developed countries around the world. This was also noted by the International Renewable Energy Agency in its January 2018 report.
Australian solar installations now a significant power source
As the Renewable Energy Index shows, solar energy from large-scale and household projects is now a significant Australian power source.
The January index reveals:
- Large-scale solar farms combined with solar panel installation now support more than 10,000 full-time jobs.
- Over January 2018, 16,042 rooftop systems supported 5,337 full-time jobs across installation, design and sales.
- There will be around $197 million in power bill savings over the next 10 years for households and business.
- Around 2,273 megawatts in large-scale solar farms is now under construction. This should provide enough work for 5,456 full-time employees for a year.
- About 19,000 gigawatt-hours of solar power is likely to be produced nationally over 2020. This equals the entire electricity consumption of WA’s main grid annually.
- So far this summer, solar has supplied 5% of overall power consumption by the National Electricity Market and WA’s main grid. This is up from less than 0.5% in 2010.
- Power generation from rooftop solar and ground mounted solar arrays combined will reach 10% of the grid’s electricity consumption by 2020.
Renewable energy reduces carbon pollution
According to the index, renewable energy produced in January also reduced carbon pollution across Australia. The amount was equivalent to removing 9 million cars from the road. This equals almost two-thirds of all Australian cars.
Total renewable power was equal to 17.3% of power consumed across main east and west coast electricity grids. This is the power consumption equivalent of 8.5 million homes.
Seventy-nine large-scale renewable energy projects were also under construction. These should provide 17,215 job years of construction work.