Monday, April 27, 2015

Australian State Meets Energy Needs with Renewables

One Australian state has been able to meet all of its power demands with renewable energy. This corroborates reports which suggest that 100 percent renewable energy in Australia is achievable. On a few occasions the state of South Australia produced enough renewable energy to supply all the power needs of its 1.7 million citizens.

For brief periods on Sept. 27th and 28th the state produced more wind power than the state’s total energy demand. Between 9.30 and 6pm on Tuesday, September 30th 2014, all of South Australia's 1.7 million inhabitants derived their power from renewable energy.

This enabled South Australia to power down all but two coal generators and one gas unit. This accomplishment was due to favorable weather conditions that provided ample sun and wind to the state's solar and wind infrastructure.

These are some of the observations in a report from Pitt & Sherry. On average approximately 33 percent of the state's energy requirements come from renewables. South Australia has almost half of the country’s wind capacity and one quarter of the households in the state have rooftop solar installations.

South Australia is aggressively upping its 2025 renewable energy commitment from one quarter to one half. The state has already met its goals 6 years ahead of schedule.

This is a significant accomplishment in the context of the ruling federal government's love of coal and disdain for anything green. Under the leadership of Tony Abbott Australia already repealed the carbon tax and defunded government agencies responsible for climate change. He has also threatened to eradicate the national renewable energy target. This led to a 90 percent reduction in renewable energy investment in Australia.

Despite the Abbott government's hostility towards renewable energy, businesses and households continue to invest in rooftop PV.  In the first quarter of 2015 approximately 195 MW of rooftop PV capacity was installed, representing a 7 percent increase over the first quarter of 2014.

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Australia Can Dump Coal and Adopt Renewables

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