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Rooftop Solar Accounts For 1.6% Of Australian National Electricity Market

Originally published on RenewEconomy.

Everyone seems to know that one million households in Australia now have rooftop solar PV. But exactly what contribution is it making to the National Electricity Market. That has been hard to estimate, because much is consumed on the premises and it does not pass through the wholesale market.

The Australian Energy Market Operator last week estimated that solar PV accounted for around 3.7 per cent of generation in South Australia, where one in five houses has rooftop solar.

Now Pitt&Sherry have produced a table showing its share in the NEM, which includes the eastern seaboard, but not WA and other isolated grids in the north. It shows that rooftop PV is now 1.6 per cent of the total share of production. That compares to wind (3.9 per cent), bagasse (0.2 per cent), and hydro (9.2 per cent).

Pitt&Sherry’s Hugh Saddler says the minimum total share of renewables since 2007 (see graph below) was 7.0 per cent in the year to June 2008, when total supply for the year was 13.3 MWh, the lowest level over the past ten or so years.

Since then, the renewable share of total electricity consumption has more than doubled (115% increase, while the total quantity of electricity supplied has increased by 27.3 TWh, more than double the minimum of 13.3 TWh in the year to June 2008.

Screen-Shot-2013-09-06-at-11.13.15-AM

A second graph below shows the increase in wind generation over the last 5 years, as capacity grew from very little to around 3GW now, and the variable, but growing, contribution of hydro.

Screen-Shot-2013-09-06-at-11.14.44-AM

 
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Written By

is the founding editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia's energy grid with great interest.

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