Rooftop solar generates 4% of total electricity
Renewables now account for 21.2% of Australia’s electricity generation, contributing to decreasing emissions, according to the March National Energy Emissions Audit.
Released by The Australia Institute, the audit highlighted the growth of rooftop solar, especially in the residential sector.
“Rooftop solar has been a great success story and now amounts to over 7.5 TWh per year, equivalent to over 4% of the total electricity used in the NEM. In addition to powering homes, they continue to assist the grid by reducing peak demand on very hot days,” said energy expert and report author Dr Hugh Saddler.
While renewable supply, including rooftop solar, is at 21.2% of the electricity generated on the national grid, the pipeline of new wind and solar farms has slowed because of the problems caused by network constraints. Over the last year, shares of total electricity supply from grid renewable generators were highest in Tasmania with 97.1%, followed by South Australia (52.8%), Victoria (20.8%), New South Wales (12%) and Queensland (8.4%).
“For the past three years there has been no sustained change to electricity demand on the NEM, with most of the new renewables generation replacing gas and lowering electricity sector emissions,” Saddler explained.
Emissions from the electricity sector have been steadily decreasing, but national emissions continued to increase, especially in the transport sector.
“Transport emissions continue unfettered by any constraints and as we have repeatedly noted, unless and until Australia has a set of genuine policies directed at decisively changing the trend of transport energy consumption, transport related emissions will continue their inexorable growth,” the audit stated.
For this to change, Saddler said fuel efficiency standards must be prioritised by future governments. “Efforts to prioritise fuel efficiency standards have dragged on for years and made little progress, leaving Australia firmly in the minority 20% of countries with no standards and costing Australians more per kilometre travelled.”
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