June 30, 2020 Read More →

Coal generation in Australia drops below 70% of national electricity market for first time

Renew Economy:

Coal-fired power’s contribution to large-scale electricity generation in Australia has fallen below 70 per cent for the first time in the history of the modern grid, a new report from The Australia Institute has shown.

TAI’s June 2020 National Emissions Report, published on Tuesday, charts the changing generation mix of Australia’s National Electricity Market, and the latest data on energy sector emissions. For the year to May…the renewable energy share of Australia’s total generation mix is continuing to grow rapidly, having recently passed the milestone level of 25 per cent, including rooftop solar.

The [data] also shows that total grid-scale renewables – that is, excluding Australia’s not insignificant contribution from rooftop solar – are inching ever closer to 20 per cent, another important milestone.

But an equally riveting flip-side to renewables growth is coal’s steady demise.

According to TAI’s data, the year to May 2020 saw total sent out coal-fired generation fall to below 66 per cent of total generation, and to less than 70 per cent of grid-level generation, excluding rooftop solar.

“This is undoubtedly the first time that the share of coal-fired electricity across the five states now making up the NEM has fallen to this level since the foundation of electricity supply in Australia, during the 1880s,” said report author Hugh Saddler.

[Sophie Vorrath]

More: Coal’s share of Australia’s grid scale generation tumbles below 70% for first time

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