Deep Decarbonisation of Australia’s Building Stock Through Wind Power? - A Diffusion Scenario Analysis of Small Wind Turbines
Posted: 10 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 5, 2019
Various states in Australia such as Queensland have committed to achieve the net-zero emission status by 2050. Compared to solar power, wind power is seldomly utilized in Australia’s building stock. As rooftop solar panels are not adequate to decarbonize the building stock, the next opportunity to consider is to utilize wind power in Australian buildings. However, little is known in terms of the Australian small wind turbine market, the energy generation potential of small wind turbines for Australia’s building stock, and the associated investment requirements and payback period. To respond to these gaps of knowledge, this study provides probably the first ever comprehensive study on small wind turbines in Australia. Firstly, this study identifies the main small wind turbines manufactures and their products in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania. Then, this study calculates the energy generation capacity of more than 50 types of small wind turbines distributed in the six states. Subsequently, this study proposes the low, medium and high diffusion scenarios of the wind turbines and calculated how much energy would be generated for each state under these different scenarios and the associated investment requirements. The results indicate that currently the small wind turbine market in Australia is very immature, with the price range of a 5kw turbine being as wide as A$2000 to A$20000, and the payback period of a turbine ranging from less than 2 years to around 60 years. Even under a high diffusion scenario of 30% adoption rate, small wind turbines are very unlikely to contribute to more than 10% of the total energy demand of Australia’s existing building stock. However, this performance is comparable to it of rooftop solar panels.
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