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Renewables Taking 29% Of Australian Grid – New Report

Renewable energy generated nearly 19 percent of national grid power in the year to June 30, according to a new report from the Canberra-based Australia Institute. The report says this puts Australia well on track to meet the Turnbull Government’s emissions target of a 26 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2023-24.

In fact the share of total grid generation taken by wind, solar, hydro and biomass installations already makes up about 29 percent of total national electricity market generation, it says. And adding power generated by rooftop solar installations would lift the renewables’ share to more than 35 percent.

According to Hugh Saddler, the report’s author, the surge in wind and solar energy is likely to force an early retirement of Energy Australia’s 1480 megawatt brown-coal power station at Yallourn in Victoria – by the mid 2020s, rather than the officially forecast 2032 date.

The Yallourn plant is claimed to be the most carbon dioxide-intensive plant in Australia’s national electricity market. Another coal power plant in Queensland is also expected to be forced out by the late 2020s.

Saddler said that the National Energy Guarantee imposed by the Turnbull Government has had a negligible impact on emissions, which it said means that a more ambitious target is “absolutely” needed.

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