100% renewables is easier and cheaper than most people think
- Mar 30, 2021 12:24 am GMT
Australia is the global renewable energy pathfinder. It is demonstrating that reaching high penetration of solar PV and wind is straightforward at low cost.
Australia is installing solar PV & wind at 10 times the global per capita average rate and 4 times faster per capita than the USA, Japan, Europe or China. Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) and the state of South Australia currently have PV & wind penetrations of 25% and 70% respectively and are tracking towards 40% and 100% respectively in 2024.The current (2021) and market futures (2024) price for electricity is in the range of US$35/MWh which includes both generation and balancing.
In response to rising PV & wind penetration, grid-balancing investment in Australia is predominantly in Gigawatt-scale off-river pumped hydro, batteries, transmission and demand response. Bio, nuclear, hydrogen, power-to-X etc are miniscule or absent. The USA has 35,000 off-river (closed loop) pumped hydro sites with a vast amount of storage (1.4 million GWh). A global atlas of 616,000 sites is available at http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/global/index.php and details are at https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1cpj3925JEG78m
The Australian experience is highly replicable since it relies exclusively on cheap, mature technologies from vast production runs that utilize vastly available resources. The USA looks a lot like Australia (except 13X bigger population) and could readily follow the Australian path - indeed it is likely to do so, driven by similar market forces.
More details: http://bit.ly/REpathfinder2021
Get Published - Build a Following
The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.
If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.