Renewable Energy Trumps Gas Generators

    The output from Australian gas generators fell to new record low levels over the latest summer, as output from wind and solar surged to new highs, raising new questions around a Morrison government push to invest in a new gas-fired power station.

    A new analysis highlighted the diminished role that gas generators are playing within the National Electricity Market (NEM), slumping to less than 5 percent market share of the electricity generated during the last Australian summer.

    The market share of gas generators peaked at around 13 percent of total supply in the NEM in Autumn 2014, but since that time, the gas of electricity produced by gas plants has collapsed, falling by almost two-thirds in just seven years, while renewables have more than doubled their market share over the same period.

    The Climate Council says the trends show that Australia does not need to invest in new gas-fired generators.

    The analysis showed that renewables, particularly wind and solar, were contributing more to Australia’s electricity supply than gas over the last Australian summer. Across December 2020 to February 2021, gas-fired power stations supplied just 4.9 percent of the electricity generated in the National Electricity Market, while renewable energy sources supplied 30 percent of the electricity used in Australia’s main grid.

    These differences were even starker in Australia’s most populated states; Gas supplied just 0.5 percent of Victoria’s electricity over the last summer, while renewables supplied 29.5 percent. In New South Wales, the market share of renewables reached 26.1 percent, while gas supplied just 0.9 percent of the state’s power.

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