The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has said that Australia is “well ahead” of 90% supply of electricity from renewables by 2040, with the operator saying it is confident Australia will be able to supply the majority of its electricity needs through renewable sources.
The revelation that Australia is “well ahead” of 90% renewables in its energy mix by 2040 comes from a recent statement from the AEMO’s Chief Systems Design Officer, Dr Alex Wonhas.
Dr Wonhas issued a statement yesterday confirming that renewable energy projects amounting to more than 55,000-megawatts of clean-sourced electricity are currently in the pipeline.
This figure represents more than double the current installed capacity of renewables.
“Based on the pipeline of registered and commissioned renewable projects, we’re well ahead of the 2020 Integrated System Plan’s ‘step change’ scenario which would see more than 90 per renewable penetration, including rooftop solar PV, by 2040.”
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This 90% renewable energy penetration in the Australian market will be made possible by the 300 renewable power generation and battery storage projects that are in the development pipeline.
The AEMO has previously published its Integrated System Plan which lays out a roadmap for Australia to shift its energy production away from fossil fuels and encourage renewable energy investments.
The AEMO hopes that Australia’s main electricity grid can move to be powered predominantly by renewables by 2030, in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Accord that is hoping to cap the rate of the globe’s warming at 1.5-celcius.
Key to achieving this plan has been investments in renewable energy like solar and wind farms in Victoria, where there has been double the amount of renewable energy coming online than 2020, at 467-megawatts.
The AEMO expects this record to be broken again in the near future, when Australia’s biggest solar farm, the 530-megawatt Stockyard Hill wind farm comes online.
Over the past year, the AEMO has noted that 3,301-megawatts of renewable energy has been added to the grid thanks to 32 separate wind and solar farm projects.
Australia “Well Ahead” of 90% Renewables by 2040, AEMO Says
Victoria has more than 32,800-megawatts worth of renewable energy generation across 131 separate projects, which is significantly more than New South Wales’ 8,100-megawatts of renewable energy generation from 52 projects.
The AEMO’s statement coincides with a report from GlobalData who says that solar photovoltaic cell penetration is expected to reach 80-gigawatts, or 47.56% of Australia’s overall power capacity by 2030; up from 21.7% in 2020.
“For some time now, the AEMO has been working closely with Goldwind Australia to overcome the issues that have prevented the registration of Stockyard Hill Wind Farm. This significant collaboration is now seeing an agreed, well-defined plan being implemented to address the specific issues and achieve registration and commissioning of this wind farm in the coming months,” says the AEMO.
Dr Wonhas has said that “we’ve seen registrations of new wind and solar projects in Victoria more than double from 467-megwatts in 2019 to 1,146-megawatts in 2020, despite the disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic and the issues in the West Murray zone.”
“We expect Victoria’s registrations to further increase in 2021, with 2,000-megawatts of new wind, solar and battery storage projects forecast,” he said.