Renewables are now covering the bulk of South Australia’s energy needs with new data released in the latest OpenNEM (National Energy Market) report showing more than two thirds of the state’s power came from renewable energy in the 2020-21 financial year.
The market report shows that on average 68.3% of the state’s daily power needs were met by a combination of wind and solar in 2021-22, an increase of 7% on the previous financial year. Large-scale wind provided 45.2% of the state’s energy needs while utility scale and rooftop solar delivered another 23.1% of the state’s energy needs.
“These results show that there is no doubt that South Australia continues its leadership in renewable energy,” Deputy Premier Susan Close said.
“Wind and solar coupled with the new green hydrogen industry will see our state lead the way in decarbonisation and lower power prices for all South Australians.
“South Australia’s aspirational goal towards carbon neutrality is now within reach.”
SA has committed to reach net 100% renewables by 2030 with plans to generate renewable electricity locally equal to 100% of its annual demand.
The state could achieve that ambition well before the end of the decade with the OpenNEM report showing that on some days in the 2020-21 financial year, SA’s solar and wind resources provided more power than the state needed, including 150% of requirements on November 27 last year.
There was also a six-day period leading up to December 29 when renewables provided more than 100% of the electricity used while on October 11 last year the state’s power grid was powered completely by solar. It is reportedly the largest jurisdiction in the world to achieve the milestone.
Close said with more than $6 billion investment in large-scale renewable energy and storage projects to date and more than $30 billion in the investment pipeline, SA’s use of green energy is expected to grow further during the next 12 months.
“We will supply South Australians with affordable, clean, green energy, with enough left over to export to other countries, providing additional income streams for our state,” she said.
South Australia has a growing number of new projects being developed. French renewables developer Neoen has started early works on its Goyder Renewables Zone, a project which has been granted development approval for a total of 1200 MW of wind generation, 600 MW of solar generation and 900 MW of battery storage capacity. GFG Alliance is building the 280 MW Cultana Solar Farm near Whyalla while
Amp Power Australia has set out plans for a 1.3 GW Renewable Energy Hub which would include solar projects at Robertstown (636 MW), Bungama (336 MW) and Yoorndoo Ilga (388 MW), supported by a total energy storage capacity of 540 MW.
The SA government has also targeted renewable hydrogen projects with plans to to transform state into a renewable energy exporter of world standing within the next decade.
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