A new report released by the Climate Commission shows that Australians are keen users of alternative and sustainable energy methods, but we must do more to make the most of our abundant potential.


The report summarises the state of renewable energy in Australia and examines its potential, concluding that while the country has plenty of potential to be a world leader in the sector, we’re not capitalising on our resources.


The report concluded that Australia has ‘world-class’ solar and wind energy resources, and that were we to make the most of these resources, a healthy and robust sector could grow business opportunities, fresh investments, reduced air pollution and a sizable jobs boom.


Global use of renewable energy is also growing strongly, with China leading the global uptake of renewable power generation. Global investment nearly hit the $250 billion mark in 2011, exceeding the amount of investment on new fossil fuel power plants.


Australians have been installing solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with a gusto, with almost 754,000 households and businesses having installed panels. Queensland is leading the pack, with the rate of installation doubling over the last two years.


The rate of growth of wind energy is well above any other large-scale generation source, growing at an average of 40% each year over five years to 2009-10.


The report also found that most of the country’s top renewable resources are in regional and rural areas, and present a unique economic opportunity for these regions.


The report concluded that the Australian economy is well on track to becoming entirely powered by renewable energy, but has also urged that continued and sustained investment must be made if climate change is to be offset and opportunities fully captalised upon.


The full report can be found here