NSW Small Scale Solar Investment Reaches $1.3 billion

According to the New South Wales Government, the total investment in small-scale solar panel systems in the state has reached $1.3 billion and 298,000 households have installed solar panels.

The investment in small solar power systems in NSW has supported over 10,000 direct jobs and an estimated 20,000 indirect jobs in the state

Progressing the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan; Annual Report 2014 states the share of renewable energy in NSW’s electricity generation mix had almost doubled in the past 5 to 6 years to 13 percent of its energy generation in 2013.

The Renewable Energy Action Plan was released in September 2013 and sets out 24 actions under three goals: attract renewable energy investment; build community support; and grow renewable energy expertise.  In the first year of the Plan’s implementation, the Government says it has already completed over a third of the actions in the Plan.

More than  13,000 jobs are now supported by renewable energy in NSW; including 4,400 direct renewable energy jobs.

NSW renewable energy job

The report states the Government has facilitated the development of 15 large scale renewable energy projects totaling 3,600MW and NSW has leveraged over $582 million of Commonwealth funding for 104 renewable energy projects in the state.

While New South Wales was ranked last among the states for new per capita investment in renewable energy since 2001 by the Climate Council last year, the Council acknowledged the Renewable Energy Action Plan may indicate a change in the state’s approach to renewables.

There are currently a total of 8,391 MW of renewable energy projects, worth an estimated $13 billion, either with development approval or in the process of getting one.

Added to that, 5,400 MW of potential projects are currently applying for development approval.

“These projects have an estimated investment value of $7.3 billion and the potential to support approximately 26,000 construction jobs and 1800 operational jobs,” states the report.

How many of these projects will come to fruition given the situation with the RET review is spooking investors is another matter entirely – nationally, investment in large-scale renewable energy projects such as wind and solar farms last year was down 88 per cent due to the situation.

Progressing the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan; Annual Report 2014 can be viewed in full here (PDF).