There were many newsworthy energy events in 2021. These are our top 10.
In February we reported on analysis from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) estimating a record 7 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable capacity was installed last year. This is an 11% increase on the previous record set in 2019 (6.3 GW). A solar installation boom drove the new record, despite COVID-19 restrictions impacting rooftop solar installation rates for part of the year. One in four Australian homes have solar – the highest uptake of household solar in the world.
In May the Australian Government announced it was building a new gas power plant in the Hunter Valley, to create jobs, keep energy prices low, improve energy security and help reduce emissions. This project delivers on the government’s 1,000 MW target set in September 2020, which was created to avoid unacceptable price increases following the closure of the Liddell power station in 2023.
In May a package of $58.6 million of new measures was announced to unlock supply, deliver an efficient pipeline and transportation market and empower gas customers. Affordable and plentiful gas will play a central role in strengthening the economy and Australian industry through the recovery from COVID-19.
7 Australian Energy Statistics 2021
In October the Australian Energy Statistics, an annual publication with all energy used and traded in Australia, were released. The 2021 data shows renewables continued to increase as a share of total generation in calendar year 2020. Renewables are now at 24%, up from 21% the previous year. Overall energy consumption fell by 2.9% in 2019-20 due to COVID-19, compared to average growth of 0.7% in the previous decade. This was largely driven by a 9% drop in the transport sector due to less passenger travel.
In May the 2021–22 Budget was announced. It builds on the Australian Government’s initiatives to guarantee reliable and affordable energy. The measures in relation to electricity, gas and fuel security will stimulate jobs and reduce emissions without imposing new costs on households, businesses or the economy.
In November, the Australian Government has released the first full National Gas Infrastructure Plan (NGIP) and the Future Gas Infrastructure Investment Framework to help secure gas supplies over the next 20 years. As part of the government’s gas-led recovery, the NGIP sets out a long-term development pathway that locks in supply for households and manufacturers, and 5 priority actions for east coast gas supply and infrastructure out to 2040.
In May the Australian Government established funding to support hydrogen-powered projects. The $300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund is administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
Each Month we publish a round up of energy stories from Australia and around the world. The March edition was the most read round up this year.
In May the Australian Government released the National Gas Infrastructure Plan: Interim Report. The report identifies priority infrastructure developments to alleviate forecast southern gas supply shortfalls in the near-term.
In August the Australian Government announced $10.98 million support for a trial of batteries mounted on power poles across Melbourne’s south east. The batteries will operate as a virtual power plant, providing demand management services, and increasing hosting capacity for rooftop solar.
Our offices will be closed from 25 December though to 4 January 2022. We hope that all our visitors and followers are able to take a break and enjoy the festive season with family and friends. We look forward to sharing more energy news with you in 2022.