South Australia Aims for 50% Renewable Power This Year
The sprawling state of South Australia will be producing half of its electricity from wind and solar by mid-year, and most power planners foresee no problems with grid reliability.
“The people who run the grid, the Australian Energy Market Operator, with the possible exception of its CEO, say that it is really not an issue,” RenewEconomy reports. A report last week by AEMO and South Australia transmission operator ElectraNet indicates that “there is as much chance of a failure in a system with no coal and lots of renewables as there has been in the last couple of decades, when there was lots of coal and no wind and solar.”
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The state’s reliance on 1,500 MW of large-scale wind production and 680 MW of rooftop solar coincides with the expected closure of its last brown coal plant in May. The remainder of South Australia’s electricity will come from natural gas plants and an interconnection to the adjoining state of Victoria.
The share of wind and solar in South Australia’s electricity mix “will grow steadily in coming years,” Parkinson writes, even though the state’s fossil and nuclear lobbies and a variety of media outlets are predicting catastrophe.