Milestone: Australia's main grid reaches 25 pct renewables over last year | RenewEconomy

Milestone: Australia’s main grid reaches 25 pct renewables over last year

A bright spot in a dark year: Australia’s main grid reaches 25 per cent share of renewable energy over the last 12 months.

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While 2020 has been, undoubtedly, a year to forget – for many different reasons – there have been some bright spots. And one particular achievement that is very much worth celebrating presents itself in today’s graph of the day, Tweeted by Simon Holmes à Court.

Australia has reached a new milestone – a 25 per cent share of renewable energy on its main grid – despite all the carefully constructed political and regulatory road-blocks, a powerful and entrenched fossil fuel lobby, and a global pandemic.

This 25 per cent share has built on the 21 per cent share of Australia’s electricity that came from renewable energy in 2019, which in turn rose from a 19 per cent share in 2018.

As Holmes à Court notes in his tweet, it is a huge achievement – and one from which we should draw strength as we build up the next 25 per cent, and the next, and the next.

The new milestone – at least new for the 2000s – comes as renewable investment in both small and large scale renewables has exceeded expectations and punched above its weight for the Australian economy.

It also comes as the share of wind and solar alone reaches 22 per cent in the last month, as David Leitch notes in his latest Know Your NEM analysis, and as the share of solar alone reaches a peak of 94 per cent of state demand in South Australia on Sunday, as we report here.

It should be noted that even the federal Coalition government now concedes that Australia will reach 50 per cent renewables by 2030, despite all its hand-ringing and fear-mongering when Labor suggested the country aim for that target, and AEMO has outlined a 20-year plan to reach up to 94 per cent renewables by 2040.

As the June 2020 Quarterly Carbon Market Report published by the Clean Energy Regulator at the beginning of the month showed, large-scale renewables remain on track to deliver around 3.4 GW in new generation capacity for 2020, while rooftop solar looks likely to exceed the CER’s previous estimate of 2.7GW in 2020 and hit a total of 2.9GW.

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