Clean power to provide 35 per cent
Thirty-five per cent of Australia’s electricity needs will be met by clean sources within two years, analysts say.
New data shows solar power is rapidly transforming the national energy market, with rooftop systems and new large-scale farms regularly pushing renewable energy beyond 30 per cent of total generation at midday during June.
Wind, hydro and solar power were responsible for up 22.3 per cent of electricity used in June.
Clean energy generation peaked at 39.2 per cent in the middle of the day on 30 June.
“What we are seeing now is just a glimpse of what’s ahead because you’ve still got a substantial number of solar farms coming through,” said Tristan Edis, a Green Energy Markets director and analyst.
“We’re going to be regularly having 50 per cent of renewables – solar, wind and hydro – across the national electricity market in the middle of the day in the next 12 months. But it is also soon going to get hard to get new stuff built.”
Many recent large-scale clean power plants have been funded on a commercial basis by businesses looking for cheap power while wholesale electricity prices were high.
But Mr Edis says that the lack of federal policy to drive grid transformation will see investment slow until the circumstances in the market changed – for example the closure of a coal-fired power plant.
“It just shows how crazy this idea is that we should go and build another coal-fired generator to run as baseload,” he said.
“If we do that it just means another coal-fired power plant is going to shut down because nothing can outcompete solar and wind.”