Australia has potential to be wind energy world leader

Australia can lead the world in wind power, but a lack of direction in policy has hampered its growth, according to the Australian Wind Alliance.

A new report by the University of Technology, Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures said Australia’s potential onshore wind resources could power the nation 12 times over, but only accounts for six per cent of current energy generation.

“The extent of wind resources is massive,” Australian Wind Alliance national co-ordinator Andrew Bray told Fairfax Media.

Australia is leading the world in terms of wind power efficiency, with the total turbines capacity factor – or its ability to run at full power – at 33 per cent for the year, compared to the global average of 23 per cent.

“This means a wind turbine in Australia, on average, will generate 142-megawatt hours for every 100-megawatt hours generated by an average wind turbine worldwide,” the report said.

It forecast that French firm Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia, which is supported by the Tesla battery array, could even achieve a capacity factor of 49 per cent.

The US has a capacity factor of 31 per cent.

However, Australia lags well behind the rest of the world in terms of installed capacity, coming 17th globally.

Cole Latimer