Renewable energy generated more power than coal over summer

Tuesday, 27 March, 2018

Renewable energy generated more power than coal over summer

Renewable energy generated more electricity than brown coal, gas or oil during Australia’s summer, according to the Renewable Energy Index. The monthly index is compiled by Green Energy Markets and funded by GetUp.

The 9880 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from renewables during the summer months (1 December to 28 February) exceeded that from brown coal by 8% and gas by 40% in Australia’s main grids. Renewables delivered much of this power during the peak demand period in the middle of the day to early evening.

For the National Electricity Market, renewables delivered an average of 5610 megawatts during the 11 am to 7 pm (NEM Time) peak demand period over summer.  This was 32% greater than power from brown coal and 78% higher than gas over this critical period of high demand for electricity.

In Victoria’s first summer without the Hazelwood Power Station, solar alone more than stepped up to the challenge. During working hours, solar generation smashed the maximum output from Hazelwood the previous summer.

GetUp Campaign Director Miriam Lyons said the latest Renewable Energy Index showed renewables were keeping the lights on while coal became increasingly unreliable.

“Over summer renewables kept houses cool and lights on during peak demand times when people needed electricity most. Meanwhile, dirty old coal plants are becoming increasingly unreliable in the heat. These ageing clunkers failed 36 times over summer!”

Highlights from the report include:

  • In February renewables made up 17.6% of the electricity generated in Australia’s main grids.
  • Enough renewable energy over February to power 7.8 million homes.
  • Large-scale projects in construction now exceed 5000 MW supporting 17,445 jobs.
  • Rooftop solar employed 5674 people in February.

Image credit: © Kraus

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