The Australian market added 234 MW in 2011 (up from 167 MW in 2010), bringing the total cumulative installed capacity up to 2,224 MW. South Australia has now passed the 1,000 MW mark with 1,151 MW, and the state now receives 20% of its electricity from wind power.
2011 was also notable for the passage of Australia’s landmark carbon legislation, which cleared the final hurdle in November, just in time for the UN Climate Negotiations in Durban. The scheme sets a price of carbon for major industrial emitters of AUD 23/ton beginning in July 2012 for three years, after which the price will float on a carbon exchange. The legislation also establishes a Clean Energy Finance Corporation to provide finance for renewable energy projects, and it is expected that this new legislation, combined with the revised Renewable Energy Target scheme will give a substantial boost to wind and other renewables in the coming years.
New Zealand installed 109 MW in 2011 for a total of 623 MW, a 20% increase in cumulative installed capacity. Wind now supplies just over 4% of New Zealand’s electricity with no subsidy or special treatment whatsoever.