At this point, it’s no secret that renewable energy is going to play an important role in our future as a species. Global renewable energy capacity has more than doubled since 2008 and that trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But is Australia doing its part to help protect our fragile environment and leave our planet in a better condition than the one it was in when we found it? In a word – yes.

Over the last few years, in particular, there has been a substantial investment in renewable energy projects under the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target – which will be met ahead of schedule. That investment has created a tremendous amount of growth at a time where it couldn’t be more critical. In fact, there’s a wide range of activity going on across the country in terms of renewable solutions that are certainly worth exploring.

A Renewable Future Demands a Renewable Present

“We’re seeing a trend in the renewable energy industry towards larger scale and multi-source – solar/wind, solar/hydro – renewable projects, which are interesting, sometimes challenging and complex projects that require consideration of a range of constraints and issues. Particularly, regarding the impacts on project design, the environment and the community in which the project is located”  

– Claire Burnes, Environmental Assessment and Management Associate at EMM.

The New England Solar Farm (NESF) is just one example of this type of project, and it is one that we’re proud to be working on. The NESF is currently being developed in the New England Tablelands area of New South Wales. Not only is it one of the largest photovoltaic power generation projects in the country’s history (at maximum size, it will involve a land area of about 2,400 hectares), but it will also create up to 500 full-time jobs during construction and another 15 ongoing full-time jobs during its operation. Most importantly, it will also provide significant contributions to renewable energy generation in NSW in particular.

Many Australian organisations have been working on similar projects with renewable energy clients across the country, all with the aim of delivering large-scale and positive outcomes that will ultimately offer a meaningful contribution to our country’s RET, or Renewable Energy Target. At EMM, we recently partnered with OVERLAND on large-scale sun farms in Limondale, Hillston and Hay – of which, Limondale is set to become the largest solar farm in Australia. These projects also have the added bonus of providing benefits to local economies, while creating quality employment opportunities in regional Australia.

Looking Toward to A Brighter Future

But for as positive as this all is, there are still a few significant hurdles that the industry will need to overcome before Australia moves fully into the world of renewable solutions with open arms. The industry is again going through a period of turmoil, facing uncertainty and lacking the framework that was previously agreed on for post-RET from 2030 moving forward.

Having said that, it’s clear that the motivation is there to do something about issues like this one in an effort to drive us all forward in the way that we need. Improvements in technology, along with the reduced cost of renewable energy over recent years, have contributed to it becoming the cheapest kind of power to build without exception. This alone will, in theory, create the type of push the industry needs to continue to move the country towards a renewable energy-based economy, all while reducing our generation of GHGs at the exact same time.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about all of this is that Australia’s future is certainly a bright one, at least as far as the widespread adoption of renewable solutions is concerned. And for us, It’s a movement that we’re definitely proud to be apart of at EMM.

“We are proud to support the ‘energy mix’ of which solar will play an increasingly critical role”
– Claire Burnes, Environmental Assessment and Management Associate at EMM.

Need an environmental expert? Get in touch today