Renewables outcompete gas generation, audit says

renewable generation, karadoc
Karadoc Solar Farm

Renewable generation in the National Energy Market (NEM) has reached a new record high, with all new energy generation over the last two months due to eight new solar farms coming online in the NEM, findings from the National Energy Emissions Audit show.

The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has released the November National Energy Emissions Audit authored by energy expert Dr Hugh Saddler, covering emissions in the electricity sector over the previous month of October.

Key findings:

  • Renewable energy generation in the NEM has reached a new record high – five consecutive months, and up by over 20 per cent since the beginning of the year.
  • Solar power provided all new renewable energy generation over the last two months, due to eight new large-scale solar plants coming online in the past two months
  • Gas generation has been declining over 2018, down by almost 20 per cent since the beginning of the year, due to high prices and strong competition from renewables.
  • South Australia could afford to shut down all its gas generation following upgrades to the network (including a new SA-NSW transmission link).
  • Snowy hydro has been active all month storing energy from renewables, after 10 years of little use.

Related article: UTS establishes PPA with solar farm

Dr Saddler said renewable energy generation records continue to be broken and the level of renewables on the grid continues to rise.

“If the government truly wants more reliable energy and lower power prices, they should look up not down,” he said.

“The future is in renewables. Australia just witnessed eight large-scale solar plants coming online in the last two months, increasing solar capacity connected to the NEM grid by over 50 per cent.”

Related article: New NSW solar farm now largest in the NEM

Eight new large-scale solar plants that joined the NEM:

Project

Location

Electorate

Coleambally Solar Farm

Coleambally, NSW

Farrer

Emerald Solar Park

Emerald, QLD

Flynn

Ross River Solar Farm

Kelso, QLD

Herbert

Bannerton Solar Farm

Robinvale, Vic

Mallee

White Rock Solar Farm

Glen Innes, NSW

New England

Daydream Solar Farm

Collinsville, QLD

Capricornia

Bungala Solar PV Project – Two

Port Augusta, SA

Grey

Karadoc Solar Park

35km south of Mildura, VIC

Mallee