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Rooftop solar PV provides 25% of daytime demand in South Australia

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The dramatic change in the nature of electricity delivery in South Australia has been highlighted by these extraordinary graphs, showing how rooftop solar PV is accounting for around 25 per cent of electricity demand in the state of large parts of the day.

The first graph is tank from Saturday, Sept 20, and the second is taken on Saturday, September 27 – showing that between 11am and 2pm, around one quarter of the state’s electricity demand was provided by solar panels on the rooftops of homes and businesses. From 10am-4pm, more than 15 per cent of demand was met by rooftop solar.

And it didn’t just¬†happen on the weekend, when demand is lower because most office buildings and some manufacturing have closed down. As the graphs at the bottom suggest, rooftop solar PV can meet one quarter of demand even during weekdays.

South Australia has one of the highest penetration rates of rooftop solar PV in the world, with 22.6 per cent of dwellings sporting rooftop solar PV as at June 30. It has a total of 555MW in the state.

This data was not taken in the heat of the summer, when more air conditioners will be in use and demand considerably higher, but SA Power Networks, which operates the grid in the state, said it was clear that rooftop solar PV was improving stability and helping push the moment of peak demand into the early evening.

Rooftop solar and wind energy is expected to account for 40 per cent of South Australia’s electricity demand in 2014/15. The state recently announced it would lift its renewable target to 50 per cent by 2025, although if the Ceres wind farm and the Hornsdale wind farms are built, solar thermal gets a hold and rooftop solar PV continues to be deployed, it may achieve a much higher renewables ratio.

This first graph is from Saturday, September 20 ….

solar map sat sept 27

This second is from Saturday, September 27.

solar map sept 20

This one is from Monday, September 22 …

solar map monday sept 22

And this next graph is from Tuesday, September 23 …

solar map tues, sept 23

More graphs can be found at the APVI website, on its  

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  • Steven Zilm

    With fantastic numbers like 25% of demand filled by solar PV… it’s no wonder that the incumbent retailers are anti solar. ….They have lost 12.5% of their revenue (1/2 energy & 1/2 network charges).

    • Ronald Brakels

      All up South Australia gets about 6% of its total electricity use from rooftop solar. The highest penetration in Australia.

  • Mark Anning

    South Australia’s extraordinary solar uptake was due, in no small part to:

    Joy Baluch, the Mayor of South Australia’s Port Augusta campaigned for solar energy for her city, who died but not before South Australia’s take-up of rooftop solar rose to double the national average.

    Joy Baluch always blamed her cancer on coal dust from her city’s power stations.

    Her campaign, and South Australia’s embracing solar, has meant that the coal-fired fossil fuel power plant only fires up occasionally.

    It’s an inspirational story … and not that hard for the rest of sun-drenched Australia to follow.

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3761131.htm

  • Rob G

    The sun is shining on SA and on its growing renewables.

  • patb2009

    well, if Autralia can grow PV enough to match 100% of daytime demand, they will be in good shape.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Without some major changes in the way things are done here that is basically what will happen. Our retail electricity prices are so high that homes and businesses have an incentive to continue installing rooftop solar even if the feed-in tariff drops to zero.

  • Ronald Brakels

    These figures are a bit low. On mild sunny weekends around noon solar can supply a third or more of total electricity use. Grid demand can drop below 800 megawatts and if South Australia has the 555 megawatts of rooftop solar capacity mentioned above operating at 77% of capacity that’s going to come to over a third of total electricity use.