South Australia renewables continue to grow, led by wind and rooftop solar

Clare Saxon Ghauri
2 September 2013

LONDON: The State of South Australia continues to transform and expand its energy sector through wind power and rooftop solar, as figures from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) show.

AEMO's data reveals wind energy accounted for 27% of generation in 2012-2013 in South Australia (up from 24.5%), with rooftop solar accounting for 3.7% of the state’s generation for the last year.

Renewable future

The report also forecasts that renewables growth is set to continue, specifically power generated by the state’s rooftop solar panels, which could treble in size to 1,205 megawatts by 2022. This would mean 50% of houses would have rooftop solar in the next ten years.

Renewables growth will continue to rise with the addition of large new projects such as Snowtown II--a 90-turbine extension of South Australia's original Snowtown wind farm. When Snowton II is fully operational, the site will supply 40% of the state’s electricity by 2020, according toTrust Power, the owner of Snowtown.

The authors explain that the growth in renewables, coupled with energy efficiency savings from new building standards and consumer responses to rises in electricity prices, have helped offset South Australia’s equally mounting energy consumption. 

National influence

Renewables are also increasing nationwide. A record-breaking 13% of Australia’s electricity was generated by renewable energy in 2012, according to the Clean Energy Council’s 2012 Clean Energy Australia Report, which shows energy efficiency and renewables are having an increasing influence on the country’s power supply.

A federal government study published last week also reveals how switching Australia to 100% renewable power within decades could cost the same as continuing to use fossil fuels. 

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, earlier highlighted South Australia’s leadership: “South Australia’s success in transforming its electricity sector over the last decade is testament to what sub-national governments can achieve with a bold vision and committed leadership.

"With climate change set to be a key point of discussion in the upcoming federal elections, South Australia’s achievements should provide inspiration for business and political leaders in the rest of the country to follow."

Read the AEMO report

Related news:

South Australia on target to reach 30% renewable energy

Domestic climate leadership leads to greater progress on global stage, report argues

Australia boasts record breaking year for clean energy: $4.2bn invested, 13% of electricity, 24k jobs

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