Summer Stats: Solar Outshone Gas

16.03.21 By
This content is more than 3 years old

NEW DATA REVEALS renewables provided six times more power than gas this summer with
gas generation falling almost 40 percent compared to last summer.

“Renewables are out-competing gas power stations, even in the hottest months when electricity demand is usually highest,” said Climate Council senior researcher, Tim Baxter.

This comes off the back of a shocker year for gas in 2020 while solar and wind had a record year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our existing gas power stations are struggling to compete with clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy and storage. Australia does not need any new gas,” he said.

“Gas is a polluting and expensive fossil fuel that’s on the way out and has no role to play in our economic recovery. It’s driving up household power prices, and prices for our manufacturing industries, putting the sector at risk,” said Mr Baxter.

Key Statistics:

“Gas industry advocates regularly point to the experiences of countries overseas to justify new gas, while completely failing to acknowledge the reality of what is actually happening here in Australia,” he said.

“As the sunniest and one of the windiest places on the planet, Australia should be cashing-in on its renewable advantage, and in doing so, rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win-win,” said Mr Baxter.

Overall electricity demand fell by 4% this summer compared to the summer of 2019/20, but gas was hit particularly hard, falling by more than a third. Renewables continued to outcompete gas, increasing by about a fifth and providing 30% of the NEM’s power needs.

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. This data covers the period from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021. You can view the data here.

StateRenewable Energy Generation in Summer 2020-21Gas Power Generation in Summer 2020-21
National Electricity Market30%4.9%
South Australia72.6%26.6%
New South Wales26.1%0.9%
Western Australia (South West Interconnected System only)26.9%36.5%

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