Graph of the Day: Wind energy’s big, big week

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Wind energy operates near full capacity for last three days, with record output across eastern states, and accounting for nearly 2/3 of South Australia’s needs.

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(See also our update on how wind energy met 91 per cent of demand in South Australia on Wednesday morning).

It’s been a big week for wind energy. First was the admission by Tony Abbott’s modellers that the renewable energy target as is will reduce electricity bills, and that the target could be met. Then there was Clive Palmer’s vow of support from his three Senators.

It’s also been very windy. So much so, that for a period of more than three days, wind energy in South Australia has provided two thirds of total generation in the state. Over that period, nearly all the wind farm’s in the state have been operating at full capacity, as these graphs from  NEM-Watch”  show.

Hugh Saddler, from Pitt&Sherry, says that in South Australia, wind contributed an average 64 per cent generation over the three days from Monday to Wednesday. Coal was relegated to just 9 per cent.

wind SA June

Across the National Electricity Market, which extends from South Australia and from Tasmania to Queensland, Saddler says wind generated 11 per cent of electricity across t for the 72 hours from Monday to Wednesday, lifting the share of renewables to 22 per cent (not including rooftop solar) and relegating the share of black and brown coal to just 65 per cent.

These figures include Queensland, which has negligible wind generaton and very little hydro.  Shares of renewable generation across the four south eastern states would have been higher – at 14 per cent wind, and 28 per cent renewables for the three days. 
wind nem


(See also our update on how wind energy met 91 per cent of demand in South Australia on Wednesday morning).

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  1. Chris Marshalk 5 years ago

    Australia’s coastline should be surrounded by Wind Farms – Day & Night Wind Power. Impressive graphs.

  2. Ronald Brakels 5 years ago

    It’s now Friday and looking it up I see that after 3:00 am am tomorrow morning South Australia’s grid electricity will not only be totally powered by wind, but demand will be so low and production so high the interconnectors won’t be able to export all the excess. (And just because some people are confused on this issue, I will mention that while it would be nice if no clean wind electricity ever had to go to waste, having to occasionally curtail production every now and then is not a real problem.)

    • Ronald Brakels 5 years ago

      Actually, I could be wrong about what will happen early tomorrow morning. It looks like wind will meet all the state’s demand, but I’m not actually sure how electricity exports are handled so I might not be right about the interconnectors being maxed out. Either way, we’ll have a lot of wind power tonight.

  3. wideEyedPupil 5 years ago

    Maybe SA will be the first state to deploy a pumped hydro large scale storage scheme (as opposed to existing hydro-dam generators).

    • Ronald Brakels 5 years ago

      It’s not great territory for pumped hydro here in South Australia. Not near existing transmission lines anyway. Thermal storage may be a cheaper option. However, given the low feed-in tariff for new solar of 7.6 cents (at least it’s better than Queensland) and grid electricity prices of about 33 cents a kilowatt-hour, many people may soon start installing home and business energy storage and that will kill the economics of utility scale storage.

  4. CaptD 5 years ago

    As I’ve said before (many times) AU has the land mass and climate to not only be totally Solar but excess Energy could be used to desalinate ocean water which would make SA bloom…
    Salute to AU

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