Contracting Party:   Department of Energy and Mining (DEM), State Government of South Australia

Executive Committee Member:   Barry Goldstein, DEM, Australia

Alternate Member:   Betina Bendall, DEM, Australia

The transition of Australia’s electricity sector to renewables is proceeding rapidly with renewable generation exceeding 40,000 GWh in 2019 and with more capacity per capita being installed in 2018 than in any other country.  Investment in renewables is strong with enough capacity built or under construction to exceed the 2020 20% Renewable Energy Target for Australia.  A record 3455 MW of renewable generation was accredited in 2018 and the forecast for 2019 is for 4000 MW to be accredited.  Commercial factors are now a stronger driver for ongoing investment than incentives under the Renewable Energy Target.

The 310 kW Winton (Queensland) ORC geothermal power plant was completed in 2019 becoming operational in December 2019.    The project is a prototype and a test case for other potential small scale geothermal developments throughout outback Australia, particularly in regional Queensland, where water for community consumption is taken from warm aquifers (80 to 90 oC) . The power plants use the heat cooling the aquifer water before it is passed into the water supply scheme.

The Australian Geothermal Association (AGA) 2018 census cataloging and mapping the type, size and distribution of geothermal energy installations /projects across Australia was published in 2019.

Increased interest and investment in Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) and Direct Use geothermal applications has continued, with some significant developments being funded by organisations from all tiers of government in recent years.  This success occurs largely in the absence of supporting policy incentives for direct geothermal use technologies.  A number of geothermal projects have been or are being constructed by local councils in Western Australia and Victoria. An example is the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) geothermal direct use project in Victoria where gas fired heating is being replaced by geothermal heat supplied from 65oC water taken from wells drilled into the Traralgon aquifer. This geothermal project is due for completion early in 2021.

A three-year study on the performance of deep well direct exchange (DWDX) ground source heat pumps installed in a residential community in Western Sydney is underway with the study due for completion in 2022.

2019 Australia Country Report

2018 Australia Country Report

2017 Australia Country Report

2016 Australia Country Report

2015 Australia Country Report

2014 Australia Country Report

2013 Australia Country Report

2012 Australia Country Report