Between the overwhelming demands for the Australian solar energy rebates, and the latest results from a national Renewable Energy audit, it’s clear that Renewable Energy is making significant inroads in the land down under.New South Wales, Australia – March 6, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] NSW Minister for Energy, Kim Yeadon, announced the results of a national audit, showing that the number of people buying Government-accredited Green Power has increased by 12 percent. “Green Power sales in the last financial year account for enough 100 percent Renewable Energy to power 55,000 households,” Yeadon said. “This has offset 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions which is the equivalent of removing 89,000 cars off the road for a year. Releasing the latest audit results for the National Green Power Accreditation Program, Yeadon said 2001-2002 figures showed continuing significant growth in the Renewable Energy industry, with sales reaching 405 GWh. “The number of Australians choosing Green Power has increased dramatically since we established this program in 1997,” Yeadon said. “NSW retailers still account for 40 percent of total Green Power sales, with Energy Australia’s Pure Energy product retaining one-third share of the total Green Power market.” State-owned retailers, Country Energy and Integral Energy, have both recently launched new accredited Green Power products to help meet the communities growing demand for Renewable Energy sources. Launched in 1997 by the NSW Government, the National Green Power Accreditation Program accredits eligible Renewable Energy generators and products nationally. “Over the 5-year life of the scheme, approximately 1,400,000 MWh of Green Power accredited Renewable Energy has been sold. This is enough to power all the homes of the city of Canberra for over 18 months,” Yeadon said. Voluntary customer participation from 64,000 households and over 2,900 businesses has driven investment in over 60 new Renewable Energy projects in NSW alone, including Hampton Wind Park and 25 solar systems on schools around the State. Interest from businesses grew by 25 percent, signalling strong support for environmental accountability. In NSW, close to 2000 businesses have made the switch to Green Power. Due to strict Green Power requirements and increased consumer demand, over 130 new Green Power-approved generators have been installed or committed in the last four years, representing 330 MW capacity. Close to AUD$170 million (US$104 million) invested in NSW alone, including the Visy Pulp and Paper Mill Renewable Energy project in Tumut.