Renewables are breaking energy generation records and driving down wholesale electricity prices, while polluting coal and gas generation continue to decline, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) latest data.
Climate Council Senior Researcher, Dr Carl Tidemann, said: “In the span of just three months we’ve seen more records broken from renewable energy output, and the lowest ever level of emissions recorded by the National Electricity Market for the first quarter of the year.
“What we’re seeing is less reliance on expensive, polluting fossil fuels, and another big jump in the share of clean, affordable renewables powering Australia.
“Every step we take towards a grid powered by 100 percent renewable electricity is a step towards lower power bills for Australians, less harmful carbon pollution and more control over our own energy.
“That’s why it’s so important we continue to ramp up the rollout of more renewable energy, backed by storage.”
Climate Councillor and energy expert, Greg Bourne, said: “It is good news that energy generated from gas has seen its lowest level for the first quarter of the year since 2005, and brown and black coal-fired generation have also seen a drop in New South Wales and Victoria.
“This is what a managed transition of our energy system looks like. As old coal power stations like Liddell close, renewable energy backed by storage is powering up to meet our needs.
“Australia is rapidly moving away from aging, unreliable and emissions-intensive coal and gas, so governments and industry must accelerate progress on clean energy and transmission projects which are ready to go.”
AEMO’s Quarterly Energy Dynamics report for January-March 2023 showed:
- Record renewable energy generation, including record average output from rooftop solar, has caused new records for minimum demand – the lowest total electricity consumption from the grid at a given time
- Total emissions from the National Electricity Market declined to the lowest levels on record for the first quarter of the year.
- Coal-fired and gas generation decreased, as recently commissioned grid-scale solar and wind experienced increased output.
- More investment in new renewable projects, and connecting existing ones, is key to keeping up this trend.
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