In September 2018 the Global Climate Action Summit will bring together people from around the world to celebrate the extraordinary achievements by states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens in addressing climate change. It aims to inspire further action, share skills, as well as encourage investment in technology and systems to tackle this urgent global problem.
In anticipation of the summit, this report celebrates the heroes of Australia’s low-carbon economy, telling the stories of the renewables sector, the businesses, communities, and individuals who are taking matters into their own hands, creating opportunities and building a sustainable energy future. With solar now cheaper than coal in Australia, the time is right for bold steps to be taken from polluting to clean energy.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, A$12bn was invested in renewable energy projects in Australia in 2017 with an additional A$3.2bn invested between January and May 2018. There is currently 6653MW of renewable energy capacity either under construction or completed and an astonishing 40,000 commercial solar systems operating nationally.
Between 2016 and 2017, solar installations by businesses in Australia increased by over 60%. And Australia leads the world in rooftop solar with 172,000 solar households as of 2017, 12% of these with battery storage and that number is growing rapidly.
An estimated 14,820 people were employed in the renewable energy sector in Australia as of 2016 with 6080 jobs in large-scale renewable energy projects. While our Federal Government lacks the leadership even to develop a cohesive climate and energy policy, and actively supports the fossil fuel industry at the expense of renewable energy, the heroes of the low-carbon economy identified in this report are stepping up, taking risks, and getting the job done. We celebrate and honour their achievements, and share their stories with the hope of inspiring even greater participation and growth in the sector.