One in five houses in South Australia already has a rooftop solar array, and 27 percent of the region’s power is derived from wind energy. New figures released last week by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) predict that thanks to new sources of wind and solar power in development, the area could source half of its energy from renewables within the decade. This would make South Australia the first industrialized region to achieve such an accomplishment, surpassing other green-power giants like Denmark and Germany.
The AEMO report states that 31 percent of South Australia’s total energy came from renewable sources in 2012 and 2013 with more than 1,250 megawatts sourced from wind farms and 400 megawatts from photovoltaic arrays. Over the next ten years, AEMO believes that the number of solar systems could triple, meaning one in every two homes could potentially sport solar panels. Increases in energy prices from the grid is expected to encourage solar growth in particular.
AEMO also notes that only one or two projects comparable in size to one like the Snowtown wind farm could help the state reach its projection of 50 percent renewables. More solar and wind development could take the figure even higher, possibly to 60 percent depending on the speed at which the infrastructure is built.
Due to the trend favoring renewable energy, AEMO asserts that the traditional fossil-fueled grid will not grow much in the coming years, and could perhaps even decline by 0.1 percent annually. This means that little investment will be made into the systems other than maintenance of old equipment. By cancelling upgrades, South Australia stands to save over $167 million.
As the movement towards renewables accelerates, South Australia acts as an example for the rest of the developed world. As Clean Technica reports, Denmark hopes to achieve 50 percent renewable power by 2030, Germany has a goal of 35 percent by the end of this decade, and California plans to meet a target of 33 percent by 2030. With fossil fuels becoming more expensive and endangering the climate, renewable energy is looking much more feasible, attractive, and sensible.
Via Clean Technica