Australia trails other developed countries in renewable energy and emissions

Wind turbines at sunset

Australia is behind other developed countries in renewable energy and emissions, a new report shows. Despite increased uptake in green power and a number of clean energy projects around the country, Aussies are still too slow to embrace new technologies and transition away from fossil fuels.

Australia ranks among the worst performers in energy emissions, transport emissions and non-fossil fuel share of electricity generation, the report from The Australia Institute found. This is despite claims from the Government that Australia is a world leader in transitioning to clean energy sources and meeting climate targets.

The report found Australia has either maintained or slipped further down the list of countries since 2005 in terms of our renewable energy transition, with data coming from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and BP energy statistics from 2019 (the most recent available).

More recent data might show a slight improvement for Australia, with a continuing trend of renewable uptake across the country. The Australian Energy Council’s latest quarterly report shows that rooftop solar is now Australia’s second biggest energy generator by capacity, however The Australian Institute’s report shows that we’re too late to jump on board with renewables.

Australia ranked third-last of the 24 countries in the report in terms of non-fossil fuel energy sources, with only 20% of our total energy generation coming from renewable sources. This was a significant increase from the 5% mark we were at in 2005, but not as significant a jump as most other countries made (Australia actually dropped three places despite the 15% increase).

How can I support renewable energy?

The report focuses on a lot of Government policies, or lack thereof, to explain the failures of Australia’s rankings in the uptake of renewable energy. But there are ways that individuals can help from the comfort of our own homes.

Our Renewable Energy FAQs feature a few common questions answered, including how to get more renewables in your home. But a few quick options include considering a green power plan if you’re interested in sponsoring a percentage of your energy consumption, or looking into installing solar panels on your roof.

There are currently a number of large-scale renewable energy projects in development around the country too, that will help send more green power to the grid or power large industrial operations. Despite being behind most of the developed world in terms of renewable energy uptake, we are certainly a country looking to expand in the way of green power.

It seems inevitable that Australia will be joining fellow developed countries in embracing more renewables into our electricity generation, with the Australian Energy Market Operator planning to be able to support 100% green power on the grid by 2025.

Whether or not you plan on bringing green power into your home just yet is up to you, but either way you can head to our energy hub to compare energy providers and plans in your area, or make use of our handy tool below.

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