Graph of the Day: Green and gold on Australia’s grid

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Australia’s wind and solar energy resources should put on a bit of a show on same day as Coalition declares its attachment to coal.

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It seems strangely appropriate that on the same day as AEMO launched its report into Australia’s energy future and its need for dispatchable generation, and the federal government declared its devotion to ageing coal technology, that the nation’s wind and solar resources should put on a bit of a show.


This graph is taken from RenewEconomy’s popular NEM-Watch widget, provided by the folks at Global Roam, but focuses entirely on the renewable energy resources.

Being a windy and a sunny day around the nation, this snapshot at 1pm eastern states time shows strong output of both wind and solar in all states.

It’s not a solution, but it is tempting to think that the Australian grid, in the not too distant future, will have eliminated the black and brown and large amounts of red that normally feature in the NEM-Watch widget, and instead feature blue, green and gold. There’s some way to go, but this is what it might look like.

Update: Oops, didn’t explain that well. After seeing the feedback we should clarify that we chose to eliminate the coal and gas generation in the grid at that time. It was just an exercise to show what blue, green and gold looks like – but with much more capacity of course (and storage).

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  1. Chris Jones 2 years ago

    I find it a bit meaningless to cherry-pick one half-hour in the day where renewables were providing X% of the nation’s power. It’s great, and I want to see a hell of a lot more, but this kind of thing doesn’t help.

    Personally I’d like to see the blue bits double as the green and gold bits halve and vice versa (pumped hydro).

  2. A Wall 2 years ago

    This is weird-looking — currently, (3:30pm AEST), VIC, QLD and NSW are using between 6 and 8 GW each (according to the same widget) — why was so little being used at 1pm? Sorry to be a downer, but my money is on a software glitch in the NEM watch system 🙁

    • A Wall 2 years ago

      What I think has happened is that the widget has just lost the coal and gas contributions, and presented the remaining (renewable) generation as though that’s all there is

    • BushAxe 2 years ago

      You can toggle the fuel types on/off by pressing the applicable square under the graph.

      • A Wall 2 years ago

        Ahh, I’ve misunderstood the article. I took the graph to mean that all production was renewable (!)
        Thanks 🙂

  3. Rod 2 years ago

    We live in hope.

  4. Gabi Gerrie 2 years ago

    Two questions: This graph is output, so did coal switch off momentarily? Thought they couldn’t do that… And on a ‘normal day in NSW, why is the Snowy Hydro’s contribution so small? Are they playing the market too, and withholding power until the price goes up?

    Just trying to understand…

    • MaxG 2 years ago

      “This graph … focuses entirely on the
      renewable energy resources.”

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