Australia is the greatest per-capita polluter in the developed world, despite only producing 1.5 percent of global emissions. Australia relies heavily on major emitters of carbon dioxide, such as coal. Australia is in fact the world’s top coal exporter. Approximately eighty percent of the country’s energy needs are currently met through coal.
However, Australia is seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions greatly by 2020. The current Australian goal is to have twenty percent of their energy needs met through renewable sources by 2020. The recent carbon taxation and eventual carbon trading scheme in the country, which just joined with the EU trading market, is expected to assist in reducing their emissions as well. An estimated 159 million tons of carbon reduction through carbon taxation by 2020 is likely.
Part of Australia’s renewable energy target includes wind energy, an energy that suit’s the country well. An estimated 7 gigawatts of wind energy is likely to be added to the country’s capacity by the year 2020. Their largest wind energy facility, the Macarthur facility, will be 420 megawatts when completed. The company constructing the facility is the New Zealand-based Meridian, a company which recently announced yet another large wind facility for the country of Australia.
Meridian has joined with REpower, a Germany-based company, to construct the 131 megawatt Mount Mercer wind farm. REpower will be providing sixty-four wind turbines which are 2.05 megawatts in capacity each. The wind farm is expected to cost approximately $268 million. The construction on the facility is targeted to be done within two years, with January 2015 being the latest time frame expected.
Australia is expected to become a more popular destination for renewable energy companies in the coming years due to the country’s renewable targets and governmental support of renewable energies.