South Australia Benefits from Renewables Boom: Best Electricity Prices in NEM

New research shows South Australia is cashing in from the state’s renewables boom, with monthly average wholesale prices in SA to be the lowest of all five state regions in the National Electricity Market (NEM) for the last two months.

The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has released their latest National Energy Emissions Audit, analysing the electricity sector over the previous month.

Key Points:

  • Monthly average wholesale prices for electricity in South Australia have been lower than in Victoria since January 2019, lower than in New South Wales since August 2019, and the lowest of all five state regions in the NEM for the last two months.
  • Over the past two years, wind and solar in South Australia have supplied more than 50 per cent of all electricity generated during the month, and in November 2019 the monthly wind and solar share in South Australia reached nearly 65 per cent.
  • National emissions reductions, made in sectors like electricity, are likely be offset over the next 10 years as the Government’s most recent emissions projections indicate very little further reduction.

“Over the past two years, wind and solar have supplied more than 50 per cent of electricity generated during the month for South Australia – that’s made electricity in SA the cheapest in the NEM and dramatically increased reliability,” says Dr Hugh Saddler, energy expert and author of the Audit.

“A new interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales will ensure that solar power from SA continues to be available to NSW later into the evenings and will create better management of peak-demand periods, by allowing solar farms in south-west NSW to reach major demand centers on the East Coast.

“Australia’s lack of effective climate & energy policy will see emissions reduction gains in electricity completely offset by increases in other sectors like transport, mining and agriculture.”

“Projections over the next ten years indicate very little reduction in emissions, this should come as no surprise given Australia was shown to have the most ineffective climate policies among 57 major countries in recent international comparison,” says Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute.

“The Madrid climate conference made clear that using dodgy carryover credits to meet our Paris commitment simply won’t cut it on the world stage — additionally, Australia Institute and Climate Analytics research shows there is no legal basis for the carryovers – instead the Australian Government will need credible climate policies to reduce emissions by at least 13 per cent to reach Australia’s Paris target.”

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Anna Chang Communications Director

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anna@australiainstitute.org.au