States leave federal government in the shade when it comes to renewables: report – Australia News

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NSW has the most large-scale renewable energy projects under way in Australia, and lifted its share of clean energy markedly in the past year, as states and territories take the lead in decarbonising the electricity sector, a report by the Climate Council has found.

A jump in hydropower helped raise renewable energy share in NSW by 5 percentage points last year to 17 per cent. That was marginally above the national share of 16 per cent, and the second-biggest increase after South Australia.

The Climate Council, though, rated by the most populous state behind all but Western Australia and the Northern Territory. While NSW has a net-zero economy-wide emissions target for 2050, it has not set a goal for renewables.

By contrast, Victoria gained credit for its efforts to legislate this year a 25 per cent renewable energy share by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. Last year, the state’s share was 12 per cent, up one percentage point from 2015.

Overall, efforts by states and territories are ahead of the federal government, which continues to dither over whether to set a Clean Energy Target as proposed by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel. The current Renewable Energy Target (RET), to achieve 33,000 gigawatt-hours a year, only runs until 2020.

“Almost all states and territories (except Western Australia) now have higher renewable energy targets or net-zero emissions targets which are stronger than the federal government,” according to…

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