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South Australia: 85% solar & wind in December

Andrew Blakers's picture
Professor of Engineering Australian National university

Andrew Blakers is Professor of Engineering at the Australian National University. He founded the solar PV research group at ANU. In the 1980s and 1990s he was responsible for the design and...

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The state of South Australia generated 85% of its electricity from solar and wind during the month of December 2022, at an average price on the spot market of US$37/MWh.

For 2022 as a whole the solar/wind fraction was 68%, up from 1% in 2007 and 36% in 2015.

South Australia has a population of 1.7 million. Its electricity comes mostly from solar and wind. The balance is generated from fossil gas with a small fraction (~1%) of net imports/exports. South Australia has no hydroelectric, coal, bio, geo or nuclear generation.

South Australia is part of Australia's National Electricity Market but is relatively weakly connected to the other states. Transmission capacity is ~0.9 GW compared with average and peak demand of 1.6 GW and 3.2 GW respectively. South Australia hosts about 0.5 GW of batteries and four new synchronous condensers.

Solar and wind generation exceeded 100% of demand on 6 days during December. The rooftop solar fraction reached 100% of demand at times.

The South Australia grid displays excellent stability. 

Daily generation shares in South Australia for the month of December 2022. Yellow is solar, green is wind, orange is gas and purple is exports & imports. The horizontal red line represents zero net generation. 

 

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