New data reveals 2020 was a shocker for gas

02.02.21 By

NEW DATA REVEALS gas generation in Australia’s largest electricity grid fell by 19 percent in 2020 while solar and wind had a record year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This latest data clearly shows that gas is on the way out and has no role to play in our economic recovery. It is foolish to waste taxpayers’ money building new gas power stations. It is completely unnecessary,” said Climate Council researcher Tim Baxter. 

Renewables provided 26 percent of power to the National Electricity Market in 2020, while gas provided just 8 percent. This is in line with the Australian Energy Market Operator’s modelling in the Integrated System Plan, which sees the role of gas continually declining over the next two decades.

“Climate Council analysis of publicly available data on OpenNEM has revealed that 2020 was a record year for renewables and a shocker for gas,” said Mr Baxter.

The data reveals that gas power stations in New South Wales had a whopping 46 percent drop in generation to just 1.6 percent. Victoria saw an even bigger 52 percent decline.

“The Federal Government needs to abandon the folly of new gas in the electricity sector and let the states and territories get on with the energy transition and economic recovery,” said Mr Baxter.

Gas is a fossil fuel driving climate change and Australians are being hit hard with catastrophic bushfires and the third mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in five years. The good news is we do not need any new gas infrastructure,” he said.

“Renewables and storage are affordable, reliable and clean. They create jobs, attract investment across regional Australia and drive down power bills,” he said. 

Further information

The National Electricity Market is Australia’s largest grid and supplies the vast majority of Australia’s electricity.

OpenNEM is an open source platform that displays electricity generation data. You can view the data here: https://opennem.org.au/energy/nem/?range=all&interval=1y

State Renewable energy generation in 2020 Gas power generation in 2020
National Electricity Market 26.4% 7.5%
Tasmania 99.2% 0.8%
South Australia 58.5% 41%
Western Australia (South West Interconnected System only) 26.3% 37.2%
Victoria 25.6% 3.1%
New South Wales 19.3% 1.6%
Queensland 15.2% 10.6%

For interviews please contact Lisa Upton on 0438 972 260 or Brianna Hudson on 0455 238 875. 

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

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