NEM in transition while South Australian wind and rooftop solar throw down challenge to NEG

The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program has released the latest electricity update of its National Energy Emissions Audit, covering October and November.

Written by respected energy analyst Hugh Saddler, the Audit shows that Australia’s energy system is in transition, regardless of the political turmoil the change is creating. [Full report]

“Brown coal generation continues to fall beyond the Hazelwood closure, replaced entirely by gas and wind in September,” said Saddler

“In fact, wind generation supplied 9.7% of NEM generation in September, a new record.

“South Australia continues to set the pace for wind generation in Australia, with 52% of large-scale generation in September and 45% in October.

“We take a close look at South Australia in this edition as the state achieved 80% wind share in one September trading period and over 75% in 100 30 minute trading periods.

“Through this period, South Australia had some of the lowest wholesale prices in the market while coal-dominated NSW and Queensland were higher.

“This has major implications for the government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

“If this is possible in SA, why should other states be different? If they are not different, then why does the government propose to constrain renewable generation to 36% or less by 2030?

“If there is no technical need for such a constraint to guarantee reliability, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the limitation is driven by ideology.

“The renewables roll-out in South Australia is also shortening demand peaks. The SA electricity profile now provides the perfect conditions for the use of demand response and battery technologies in a highly effective an economical way,” Saddler said.

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