Installing solar PV at rates per household around twice that of the Australian average, South Australia has reached nearly 29% renewables based on data from the AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and the NEW Review analytical tool.
Going from about zero to thirty percent renewables in less than 15 years is a remarkable achievement.
The chart below tracks the market share of each major electricity source in the state since 2005-06. The green bar illustrates the steady rise of wind, which now supplies a quarter of the state’s electricity. And in 2012-13 solar PV in light blue appears as a material player with 3.5 per cent share.
Source: NEM Review, AEMO (2012) and AEMO (2013)
Delving down from annual levels into five minute increments from a few days ago, the chart below illustrates just how much wind has been integrated into the SA system at individual points in time. It shows that wind has reached levels where it represents as much as 90 per cent of SA’s power demands.
Gas has continued to play an important role in SA and its flexibility has been a good complement to wind. But coal generation tends to stay steady as inflexible baseload.
Note: per cent of demand will at times be greater or lesser than 100 per cent as generation may be imported or exported to Victoria. Torrens Island is classified as natural gas/Fuel oil but was considered as Natural Gas for the purposes of this analysis as this is the predominant fuel used.
Source: AEMO data, analysis by Ketan Joshi of Infigen Energy.