All new Australian Power Plants to be Renewable through 2020

by Nicholas Brown.

According to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), all new electricity generation capacity in Australia will be from renewable energy. It will mostly be from wind energy, while 13% of that is expected to be from large-scale solar PV, and 3% from biomass.

After years of hearing very little about Australia’s transition from fossil fuels, there has been Sydney’s plan to go 100% renewable by 2030 and a lot of big news in 2013. But the next several years will be even bigger.

According to an IEEE article about the coming growth of renewables in Australia: ”There are nearly 15 800 megawatts of proposed wind generation projects, according to the AEMO. More than 780 MW of the wind power is expected to come online in 2014-2015.”

Australian cumulative electrical power generation chart
Australian cumulative electrical power generation chart

This massive progress is partially caused by a nationwide carbon tax, which was instated in 2012. According to the IEEE article: ”By 2020, there could be 3700 MW less coal-fired generation, about 13 percent of the country’s total coal power production.”

<br />A wind farm in rural Australia via Shutterstock.
A wind farm in rural Australia. Image by Shutterstock

The dominance of wind generation in this forecast (compared to solar) is largely due to the fact that wind power is cheaper than solar power. It is good to see a decent mix of biomass as a part of this. Power plants fueled by biomass can back up solar arrays and wind farms while preventing methane from entering the atmosphere.

Methane is 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and biomass power plants usually burn methane, resulting in the emission of the more benign carbon dioxide. This replacement of methane with CO2 has a positive environmental effect.

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This article, All New Australian Power Plants Will Be Renewable Through 2020, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Nicholas BrownNicholas Brown has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, geography, and much more. My website is:

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Graph: Australian Wind Farms Break Record

Originally posted on Renew Economy by Sophie Vorrath

In our Graph of the Day on Monday, we looked again at the record-breaking week of August 10-18 for wind energy in Australia.

As it turns out, the entire month of August 2013 was a record breaker, all round – for the National Electricity Market (NEM), and for the individual states of South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and NSW.

As the graph below shows, NEM demand generated by wind in the month of August reached a record high of 8 percent (up from 5.7% in July), while in South Australia, demand generated by wind during hit a smashing new high of 37.9 percent, up from 31.2 percent in August last year.

Tasmania notched up a record 11 percent of demand generated by wind (up from 7.5% in July), NSW hit a new high of 1.8 percent (up from 1.5% in August 2012) and Victoria reached 7.9 percent (up from 5.4% in July) which is enough to power the stadium lights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground continuously for the next 44 years, the Clean Energy Council says.

Wholesale wind power generation in Australia -- GigaWatt-hours/month. Image courtesy of
Wholesale wind power generation in Australia — GigaWatt-hours/month. Image courtesy of

All up, the Clean Energy Council says Australia’s wind farms generated 1024 gigawatt-hours in August. And according to the CEC’s infographic below, that is enough wind generated energy to make more than 6 billion (6,144,000,000) toasted sandwiches using your average sandwich press — enough for each person on Earth. Pretty handy. Here’s what else it could do…

Australia Clean Energy Council infographic. Image courtesy of
Australia Clean Energy Council infographic. Image courtesy of

This article, Graph: Australian Wind Farms Break Record, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

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