24 April, 2017

When it comes to renewable energy - wind, solar, hydro and the others, how much does WA really generate and use? And how do we compare to other states?

For a long time we've been hearing about the benefits of renewable energy - it's clean, green and, in the case of solar, can be generated for little cost from the sun. And we know the amount of renewable energy we're making is on the increase.

Each year the Office of the Chief Economist releases statistics on Australia's energy mix, giving us a snapshot of how we generate and consume energy today, including renewables.

Total renewable energy in WA
Every year in WA our energy generation increases to meet demand

A power hungry state
We've all heard about how power hungry our society is, and now here's the evidence. The data shows that every single year the amount of energy generated in WA - to be used by both business and homes - is increasing. Why? Because the demand is there. Small note of interest, the measure is in gigawatts. Giga is from the Greek word meaning 'giant'.

Renewable energy amounts in WA

Percentage of renewables in our energy mix 
The good news is that year-on-year, we're increasing the proportion of renewable energy within our energy mix. The not so good news is that at current rates of increase, we are still a few years off hitting the 10 per cent mark.

Renewable energy sources in WA
When it comes to renewable energy sources, wind wins hands down

The wind blows for renewables
Yes, WA is an extremely sunny place.And lucky for us, it's also a very windy place. That means that wind is by far the biggest source of renewable energy in WA and that's with less than 10 wind farms in WA, most of which are owned by local community groups. Imagine if we had more?

Renewable energy generation by State in Australia
WA is lagging behind other states in its renewables mix
State versus state

Despite our abundance of renewable energy sources, including near constant sunshine and wind plus a growing wave energy sector, WA lags behind in the national competition, placing fourth in the proportion of renewables within the state's energy mix. The winner is Tasmania, leading the way on the back of its extensive hydro program. z

Source: Office of the Chief Economist, 2016. 

How RAC is working towards making the future cleaner and greener

We're thinking about the future now so we're ready for the changes ahead. An important part of our planning for the future is looking at how we can live, work and move around our State more sustainably.

RAC's sustainability initiatives

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