Wild weather smashes wind energy records

June 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

A week of gale-force winds has set new records for the generation of wind energy in southern states.

THIS WEEK’S WILD weather has contributed record amounts of electricity to the South Australian grid, much to the delight of wind energy advocates.

On both Monday and Tuesday wind farms contributed more than 1,250 MW of power, supplying in the order of 65 per cent of South Australia’s electricity needs, figures from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) show.

Victoria also blew away records, with wind farms pumping in 12 per cent of electricity requirements, or around 900 MW on each day.

“The huge energy generation from wind farms during our windy week is evidence of why countries all over the globe are turning to renewables to meet their electricity needs,” said Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh.

“The fact that South Australia in particular can generate around 65 per cent of their electricity from wind over a two-day period is proof that the grid can handle this substantial contribution, simply by reducing the amount of fossil fuel burned during that period.”

South Australia has the highest amount of wind energy capacity in the nation, with 37 per cent of all wind farms. It has a stated goal of generating 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2014, and 33 per cent by 2020.

AEMO says average contribution of wind energy for the financial year 2012-13 was at 25.9 per cent.

Meanwhile Australia’s national renewable energy target (RET) of 20 per cent of electricity generation by 2020 is under review. Critics have pointed to a recent review of the RET and the appointment of a self-described climate sceptic Dick Warburton to chair the current review as evidence the government is looking to reduce or abolish the target.

But yesterday, the unpredictable leader of the Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer said PUP senators will work to keep the RET when they assume the balance of power in the senate on July 1.

The Clean Energy Council also supports the retention of the target. “The Renewable Energy Target has generated more than $20 billion of investment to date, and if left alone to do its job under stable policy settings is projected to generate at least as much again,” said Russell Marsh.

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