Climate Council: Which states are winning (and losing) the renewable energy race?  

Australia’s states and territories have a major role to play in growing the prescience of renewable energy and addressing climate change according to a new report from the Climate Council.

“Australia is a major climate change player. Per person, we are the highest emitter, more than Europeans or Chinese,” explains Professor Tim Flannery from the Climate Council.

“This means Australia has a responsibility to play its part.”

As the interactive graph above shows, when population is taken into account, NT and WA shoot to the top due to their sparse population and considerable mining activity.

Despite having the highest total emission levels, NSW falls to the bottom of the major states on a per capita basis. Although this seems like a good result, only the ACT comes in below the average level of 12.5 tonnes of C02 equivalent per capita within the OECD.

“The Climate Council report makes it clear that the ACT is one of the national renewable energy leaders,” claimed Flannery, underlining the efficacy of clear and dedicated policy supporting renewable energy targets.

Figures also show that New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland use fossil fuels to generate the highest amount of GWh of electricity, while also lagging behind Tasmania and South Australia in renewable generation.

South Australia leads the country in large-scale renewable energy, generating 0.89kW per capita. It also boasts the highest percentage of dwellings with solar PV systems installed, the only state with more than one in four homes featuring solar panels.

Tasmania on the other hand generates 93% of its overall energy usage from renewable sources, having enjoyed a considerable increase in hydro power during 2013, while the proliferation of solar panel systems within the state is not as favourable.

CC-reportThe Climate Council report suggests the low infiltration of solar panels “is surprising”, especially in areas that feature good solar insolation and high electricity retail costs.

It highlights that fact that renewables like solar reach their peak generation potential at times when electricity is needed most, such as during the heatwaves of early 2014 where the contribution from renewables reduced the overall cost of power by 40%. These are the sort of benefits that households with a solar power system enjoy all year round.

Click here to read the report and its findings online, or visit the Climate Council website for more information.