South Australia boasts surge in clean energy despite record economic growth

22 March 2012

MELBOURNE: Fresh electricity statistics reveal that South Australia is still leading the clean revolution, with even more of the state’s energy coming from renewable energy sources in 2011 despite record economic growth.

The report from EnergyQuest shows that 26% of South Australia’s electricity came from wind in 2011, with an estimated 2.5% from solar. This leaves 49% of the state’s energy which was generated by gas, and the rest by coal.

Graeme Bethune, Chief Executive, EnergyQuest said: "There's been an extraordinary growth in wind power in South Australia over the last five years. Five years ago it was less than 1%, in 2011 it hit 26% of power generation."

Despite only introducing wind farms in the last ten years, South Australia also lays claim to the highest wind generation in the country - its 26% compares with 3% nationally.  

The increase in wind farms is helping the state achieve its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. Between 2005 and 2011, which saw South Australia’s strongest ever employment and economic growth, there was a more than 15% drop in CO2 emissions.   

Caroline Bayliss, Australia Director, The Climate Group says: “By going from 0% wind power to 26% in only ten years, South Australia has shown just how rapidly clean technology can be scaled-up when backed by political commitment. The South Australian Government provided the regulatory certainty that investors needed, and the State has been rewarded with its lowest wholesale electricity prices since the start of the National Electricity Market as a result. The rest of Australia needs to catch up if it is to remain competitive with the rest of the world.

Explore South Australia's Clean Revolution case study 

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