Australia can lead the world in wind power, but a lack of clear direction in policy has hampered its growth, according to the Australian Wind Alliance. Today, all existing energy resources, both renewable and conventional, are used in Australia. However, despite all that, the level of electricity prices in the country is one of the highest in the world.
According to conclusions of the Institute for Sustainable Futures of the University of Technology Sydney, the wind resource capacity of the continent's littoral zones exceeds the national consumption 12 times; at present, though, wind energy amounts to only 6% of the Australian energy balance structure. "The extent of wind resources is massive,” Australian Wind Alliance national co-ordinator Andrew Bray told Fairfax Media. The wind turbine capacity factor in Australia is about 33%, which greatly exceeds the worldwide average of 23%. Also, for comparison: in the USA, where, struggling with the conventional energy lobbies, only superefficient wind farms are built, the average annual capacity factor is on the level of 31%.
It is also forecast that some wind farms will provide a capacity factor of up to 50%. That will become possible by connecting to a battery array. Thus, according to the estimates of Neoen, a French firm, the Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia, which is supported by the Tesla batteries, could achieve a capacity factor of 49%.
In spite of the grand prospects, today Australia lags well behind the rest of the world in terms of renewable energy (and wind power, in particular), and in terms of installed capacity it does not even make it to the TOP-10, ranking 17th only.