According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, current Australian policies for promoting renewable energy will generate at least $36 billion in new investments by the end of the decade.
By way of comparison, the amount of renewables investment will be on par with the construction of Australia’s National Broadband Network, one of the largest projects ever undertaken in the country.
Bloomberg predicts renewable energy investment reach its zenith in 2017 with over five billion dollars ploughed into new large-scale wind and solar farms, smaller commercial solar power systems and residential rooftop arrays.
The 36 billion dollar total will see close to 28 billion dollars going towards utility scale projects as part of meeting Australia’s Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the remainder will be invested by households and businesses for rooftop solar power systems.
Bloomberg says over 4 billion dollars was invested in renewable energy in Australia last year and the optimistic forecast for the nation’s future is due to national targets and rapidly falling costs of clean energy.
Up until 2014, small scale solar installations will be driven by solar feed in tariffs and the Solar Credits rebate. Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that in 2015, in a post-Solar Credits environment, a 1.5 kilowatt system will cost $ 4,500 in Australia, getting close to half of what a system would cost now without solar rebate support.
While wind power is a favoured renewable for large scale installations currently, Bloomberg believes the LRET model shows that by 2018, solar technologies will begin to take market share from wind energy.
In 2020, Bloomberg expects Australia having 11.9 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy, 4.3GW of large-scale PV and 1GW of thermal solar; based on the assumption Australia meets its mandatory national targets. In addition to those amounts, households and businesses will own 3.3GW of capacity in the form of rooftop solar panels.