Renewables doing heavy lifting in National Electricity Market

31.08.21 By

Clean, affordable renewable energy is doing the heavy lifting in ensuring a reliable supply of electricity in the National Electricity Market (NEM), the latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) shows. 

“Wind and solar energy are the cheapest way to add new capacity to the grid, and continue to generate clean, affordable electricity as unreliable coal and expensive gas decline,” said Climate Council senior researcher Tim Baxter. 

“Record rates of rooftop solar uptake and massive investments by state and territory governments in large-scale wind and solar are driving a bright outlook. By 2025, we should see the grid being able to handle 100 percent renewable electricity at certain points in time,” said Mr Baxter. 

“Meanwhile, coal continues to be the electricity grid’s greatest liability, with Yallourn Power Station vulnerable to failure during an extreme rainfall event,” said Mr Baxter. 

“Market operators and policymakers alike must invest in the right infrastructure to support a reliable, renewables-powered, low-emissions grid, including battery storage technology and pumped hydro,” he said. 

Climate Councillor and Macquarie Law School senior lecturer Dr Madeline Taylor added: “For the first time, AEMO also examines the role of renewable hydrogen in meeting consumer and industry needs, outlining exciting opportunities for setting up zero-emissions, all-electric industries and creating hundreds of new clean jobs.”

“Consumer behaviour, industry decisions and economic trends all point to one fact: Australia can have a grid powered by renewables,  backed up by battery storage and pumped hydro, with the need for fossil fuels to be phased out of the electricity mix,” said Dr Taylor.

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