The government of Tasmania has made the announcement that two years early, the state is now powered by 100% renewable energy, marking the first Australian state to be powered entirely by renewables.
The news came via an announcement from Tasmania’s energy minister, Guy Barnett, who says that Tasmania has been able to reach its goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy two years early thanks to recent additions to the state’s hydroelectric and wind power projects.
What’s more, Tasmania’s government has already made it clear the state is aiming to produce 200% of its energy needs via renewable energy sources, to become a global leader in renewable power generation by 2040.
Mr Barnett said in a statement that “we have reached 100 per cent thanks to our commitment to realising Tasmania’s renewable energy potential through our nation-leading energy policies and making Tasmania attractive for industry investment, which in turn is creating jobs across the State, particularly in our regions.”
The recent addition of a wind farm in Granville Harbour on the west coast was able to supply enough renewable power for 100% of Tasmania’s energy needs, according to the energy minister.
“When the final two turbines are commissioned at Granville Harbour, Tasmania will have access to 10,741GWh of renewable generating capacity – well above our average annual electricity demand of 10,500GWh.”
While the progress is clear to be seen, Barnett says that “there is more to do, which is why we have set a target to double our renewable generation to a global-leading target of 200 per cent of our current needs by 2040- which we recently passed into law following the passing of legislation through both Houses of Parliament.”
“We are also continuing to progress the Marinus Lunk and Battery of the Nation projects that represent an intergenerational opportunity to make Tasmania a global leader and the renewable energy powerhouse of Australia,” Barnett added.
Project Director of the Granville wind farm, Lyndon Frearson has said that the recent addition to Tasmania’s fleet of renewable energy is one keystone of a government pledge to reach 200% renewable power in the coming years.
“The wind farm is already proving its worth as a generator in the network and is a key part of the state’s development of new renewable energy resources to achieve its aspirational target of 200 per cent renewables by 2040,” Frearson said.
“For Granville Harbour Wind Farm to be the actual catalyst for Tasmania achieving its 100 per cent renewable energy target two years ahead of schedule is a remarkable outcome, and one that everyone involved with its development should be very proud of,” he added.
The state of Tasmania off Australia’s south coast has been a trailblazer for domestic renewable energy projects, with one of the earliest hydroelectric power plants – Duck Reach in Launceston – dating back to 1895. This marks perhaps the oldest hydroelectric means of producing renewable energy in the southern hemisphere, according to Renew Economy’s Michael Mazengarb.
That report states that “Tasmania had been reliant on supplementary supplies of gas generation, as well as imported supplies from coal-heavy Victoria. However, with the growth of wind power in the statem, Tasmania reduced its reliance on supplementary supplies of fossil fuel electricity, and can now meet all of it’s needs with renewable sources.”
The Clean Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Kane Thornton has praised Tasmania’s initiative in becoming powered by 100% renewable energy, adding that the government gave a clear sign – in the form of environmental policies – that signaled the direction of the state to developers and investors.
“Tasmania has led to the way when it comes to effecting change in Australia’s energy mix, and today’s milestone is well ahead of the original schedule of 2022. This considerable achievement highlights the Tasmanian Government’s policy leadership on renewable energy, which continues with the legislating of a visionary 200 per cent renewable target by 2040.”
Thornton continued to explain that “the clean energy industry has responded in kind through investment, which in turn, will play a critical role in local Tasmanian economies creating employment opportunities now and into the future.”