August 21, 2020 Read More →

Renewable generation sets new records on consecutive days in Australia’s main grid

Renew Economy:

Output from wind and solar have surged to two new record highs in the National Electricity Market over the past 24 hours, with sunny and windy conditions combined to push their combined output towards 12 gigawatts, or nearly 50 per cent of total demand.

The Australian Energy Market Operator, which recently released its 20-year blueprint mapping a path to up to 94 per cent renewables by 2040, celebrated the first record with a Tweet that noted the combined output of wind farms, and small and large-scale solar generation, exceeded 11,700MW for the first time. That smashed a record set back in November 2019, where combined wind and solar output hit 11,300MW.

But it has taken less than 24-hours for the record to be broken yet again.

According to OpenNEM, the combined output from wind and solar sources surged to a new high shortly before 11am, pushing past 11,830MW of combined output. It might have been even higher, given the delays and constraints that have had a heavy impact on wind and solar developers, and by industry estimates has reduced the anticipated output by an average of more than 700MW.

At noon on Friday, renewables (including hydro) supplied 48.6 per cent of all electricity generated in the National Electricity Market, which covers New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. The prevailing conditions could see the market share of renewables surpass 50 per cent for the first time since 2019 over the coming weekend as demand reduces.

Renewable energy output across the entirety of the NEM has averaged more than 33 per cent over the last 24-hours, with windy yet sunny conditions prevailing across Australia’s eastern states, and is approaching a new daily record, which was set on 12 November 2019 at 34.3 per cent.

[Michael Mazengarb]

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