Four wind-powered, four gas-fired and one hydro electricity generation projects have come online in the year to October, adding a total of 1,546 megawatts to the country’s electricity grid at a cost of $2.5 billion, according to a new report prepared by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE).


The Major electricity generation projects report details electricity generation projects at 30 megawatts or more that are at various stages of development around Australia.


At the end of October, 20 projects were at an advanced stage of development, with  an estimated generation capacity of 3,017 megawatts at a cost of $6.5 billion.


BREE’s Executive Director and Chief Economist, Professor Quentin Grafton said that gas-fired and wind-powered projects accounted for around 80 per cent of the projects at an advanced stage of development and are becoming increasingly important in Australia’s energy mix.


“Less carbon-intensive non-renewable energy sources, particularly gas, as well as the development and application of renewable energy technologies are expected to make a larger contribution to Australia’s electricity supply over the next few years,” Professor Grafton said.


A further 133 projects were identified as being at a less advanced stage of development (undergoing feasibility studies and/or awaiting approval), of which 91 plan to use renewable energy sources.


In 2010-11, 68 per cent of electricity generation in Australia was coal-fired, followed by gas (19 per cent) and 12 per cent renewable energy sources (hydro seven per cent, wind two per cent).