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A Bright Future for Australia’s Renewable Energy Sector

The future of Australia’s renewable energy sector is bright, with last year being a record year for renewables as state governments, industries and communities continued to embrace the transition to clean energy.

The Australian Energy Statistics have revealed that renewable energy sources achieved a 21 per cent share of Australia’s total electricity generation last year. This marked the highest level of renewables in total electricity generation recorded in the past 50 years, and this figure is still expected to rise. 

What were the main sectors of growth? 

Wind was the largest source of renewable energy with 7.3 per cent of the total generation, followed by solar with 6.7 per cent and hydro with 5.4 per cent.  

The growth in the renewable energy sector has been driven by a 46 per cent growth in solar output and 19 per cent increase in wind power. Both solar and wind have been the primary drivers in more than doubling the renewable generation expansion over the past decade.  

There were also 34 large-scale projects completed in 2019, which increased Australia’s large-scale renewable energy capacity by 2.2 GW, generated $4.3 billion in investment and created over 4000 new jobs.  

The increasing demand for renewable energy sources will help to meet Australia’s climate change targets and ensure affordable and reliable power supply for all consumers.  

What is a Renewable Energy Zone? 

A Renewable Energy Zone involves the coordinated development of new grid infrastructure in energy-rich areas, which helps to efficiently connect multiple generators in the same location.  

The NSW Government’s Electricity Strategy includes a plan to deliver three Renewable Energy Zones in the State’s Central-West Orana, New England, and South-West regions.  

These Renewable Energy Zones will help play a vital role in delivering affordable energy generation and are expected to unlock a significant pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects.  

These Zones are expected to deliver multiple benefits for NSW including: 

  • Improving electricity reliability by delivering significant amounts of new energy supply  
  • Increasing affordability by reducing wholesale electricity costs 
  • Supporting emissions reduction by delivering reductions in the electricity sector  
  • Engaging communities by helping them to actively participate in the development of energy infrastructure in their region. 

How can Barker Ryan Stewart assist? 

At Barker Ryan Stewart, we are fully committed to delivering environmentally sustainable outcomes to help our communities prosper and grow. 

We have the capability to provide civil engineering design, surveying and town planning services for renewable energy developments, including waste to energy, wind and solar farms.  

We have a broad range of experience in providing sustainable design services and completing a range of development and State Significant Development applications for metal recycling, construction recycling, and e-waste recycling facilities.  

Our team has been involved in a range of renewable energy and other sustainable developments across NSW, and some of our more recent project examples are listed below.   

Yarrabee Solar Farm Substation  

The provision of concept design services required for the tender submission for a design and construct contract with Transgrid for the delivery of the Yarrabee Solar Farm 330kV/33kV substation. The substation forms part of a large solar farm located approximately 27km south-west of the township of Narrandera, NSW. 

Energy from Waste Due Diligence  

On behalf of an overseas investor, Barker Ryan Stewart has been actively assisting with the identification and due diligence investigations for a number of potential energy from waste (EfW) plants in various locations across the NSW Central Coast and Hunter regions.  

Our services have included an assessment of planning and environmental constraints to provide our client with advice on the most suitable sites for the proposed plants. The concept includes the development of eco-industrial parks that will use the energy and surplus heat generated from the EfW plants. 

Have an upcoming renewable energy project? 

Barker Ryan Stewart is well-resourced and positioned to assist in providing civil engineering design, town planning, and surveying services for your next renewable energy development.  

If you have any questions about how we can assist with your development, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Barker Ryan Stewart office.

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