New Record: 85% of South Australian Electricity from Wind Power

Some amazing things have been happening recently with electricity generation and consumption in Australia.

First we saw a drop in electricity consumption across the entire National Electricity Market (see articles on power drop in New South Wales and Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia).

Now comes news that a record amount of wind turbine generated electricity is being produced in South Australia:

  • Wind power provided more than half the state's power needs on a single day (Wednesday 5th September 2012).
  • Wind farm generation peaked at 85% of state-wide demand on another morning (Monday 3rd September 2012).
  • Emissions from power generation have fallen by 27% over the last five years, largely thanks to wind power.
  • Coal usage dropped by 9% in financial year 2011-12.

Photo of Crookwell Wind Farm in NSW (c) Ryan McCarthy

Photo of Crookwell Wind Farm in NSW (c) Ryan McCarthy

Here's some more from Russell Marsh at the Clean Energy Council:

According to AEMO [Australian Energy Market Operator], in the 2011-12 financial year almost a quarter of the state’s electricity was generated by wind farms. This has led to a corresponding drop in generation from coal and gas plants, with wind generating more energy than coal for the first time.
South Australia has proven once again that wind energy can generate real power – and lots of it. All this wind is putting South Australia well ahead of the curve on Australia’s 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target, and helping to provide farmers and local businesses in regional areas with extra income.
It also means the state’s residents collectively have a lower carbon price bill, while getting fully compensated by the Federal Government under the scheme.

- Ryan McCarthy

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