Whether or not you are an advocate of renewable energy, you might be interested to know that for the very first time, renewable energy powered more than 50% of the grid’s power. This is an extraordinary feat, achieved in a very short time scale. It was mostly due to energy created by solar and wind power, and took place on 6th November just before midday and lasted for 10 minutes.
This renewable energy was supplied to the NEM (National Electricity Market) that supplies all of Australia, except WA and the NT, as they are on separate grids. Nevertheless, it’s a massive achievement towards self-sufficiency in Australia and shows what renewable energy can achieve, over and above a reliance on fossil fuels.
In fact, as stated by Angus Gemmell, the head of Solar Choice, it’s a magnificent milestone that should make Aussies proud!
How did renewable energy achieve this landmark result?
Obviously, the production of renewable energy has grown to a point where it can supply more than half of the power to the NEM, but it happened on this specific day because of a number of factors. First, the weather conditions where perfect with a combination of strong winds across most of south-east Australia and it was one of the clearest and sunniest days we have seen in a long time.
Another crucial point was that it wasn’t hot enough to make people turn on their A/C units, so power demands weren’t extreme. These factors created a ‘perfect storm’ where the production of renewable energy was optimised, supplying more than 50% of our power needs.
What makes this achievement even more remarkable was that on that particular day, four of the five solar farms in Victoria were not running at their full capacity. This achievement might not be so remarkable in the future however, given that the renewable energy industry is set to expand very quickly (it might become the norm!).
New solar and wind generators, as well as extensive battery systems will soon be connected to the NEM, increasing the supply of green energy into the grid. With increased production, renewable energy has the potential to supply all the energy needed to power the grid, storing any excess in battery farms.
What’s next for renewable energy?
Australia is posed to make big inroads into the renewable energy and battery storage market space, despite a lack of government direction. Giles Parkinson, an energy industry observer and editor of the Renew Energy website, believes that we have been locked into an outdated coal and gas paradigm.
He believes that it’s time that Australia’s energy regulators recognised the benefits of green energy and the place that extensive battery farms can play in our energy market space. However, without any direction from government, in particular the Federal government, the energy revolution is being compromised and a new green paradigm with cheaper forms of renewable energy is being ignored.
With a firm hand at the helm however, Australians will eventually be able to make the switch from fossil fuels to green energy on a permanent basis.
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