Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has announced a milestone in renewable energy development. As part of a large-scale experiment, solar panels temporarily met all of the state’s electricity needs. Most of the electricity – 77% – was provided by home power plants, while the remaining 23% was provided by large solar farms, reports Electrek.
“Never before has a territory the size of South Australia been supported by solar energy alone. At the same time we should note that the share of solar systems on the roofs of consumers was 77%,” – said the executive director of AEMO Audrey Siebelman.
The tests were held on Sunday, October 11, from 12:00 to 13:00. The clear skies and mild temperatures throughout the day created the right conditions, and all the excess energy produced by gas and wind farms was temporarily stored in battery packs and exported to Victoria state in southeastern Australia. 1305 MW was enough to power the whole state – 992 MW were allocated for 288 thousand houses and 313 MW were received from power generating organizations.
AEMO representatives also noted that it was easier to implement the project in South Australia than in another region, as the state already met 89% of its needs through solar energy. The next step was to install 36 thousand additional panels within 14 months and to permanently abandon fossil energy sources.
According to the forecast of AEMO Integrated System Plan, by 2040, about 63% of the global coal industry will be replaced by renewable energy sources with an approximate capacity of 26 GW. At the same time, the capacity of distributed energy sources, including solar panels on private homes, is expected to triple.
In recent years Australia has paid increasing attention to solar energy and other sources of renewable energy. A few days ago, Sun Cable announced that it was working on the largest project in the country’s history – a solar power plant with a capacity of 10 GW, which will transmit two-thirds of the electricity produced by underwater cable to Singapore. The construction of the array will cost $20 billion and will be completed by the end of 2026.