Australian renewable energy production surpasses brown coal and gas during summer

A new report by Green Energy Markets has found that renewable sources provided significantly more electricity than brown coal and gas in Australia during the recent summer months.

Renewable energy produced 128% more MWh of electricity than gas and 23% more than brown coal over the 2018-19 summer in the national electricity market states across Australia.

The report also found that output from solar energy alone exceeded that from brown coal and gas when averaged across the 9am-5pm period. Collective wind and solar output was 2,821GWh higher when compared to the summer of 2016-17.

Most notably, this growth in wind and solar energy production has almost entirely replaced the lost summer output from the Hazelwood power station in Victoria, which was closed in March 2017.

“I think what this data is illustrating is actually we have been able to replace the output from Hazelwood over the summer period,” said Green Energy Markets director Tristan Edis.

“If we were concerned about the closure of coal and not being able to have reliable electricity supply, what this demonstrates is [that] renewables have been able to fill the gap left by a pretty large electricity generator – and over the period where we have peak demand.”

Although black coal remains the dominant source of energy in Australia, its output across the entire summer was below 2017-18 summer levels.

Edis added that solar production is set to double in the next three years, as several large scale solar and rooftop solar plants come online.