New report confirms growing risk of integrating renewables

Snowtown wind farm, SA
Snowtown wind farm, SA

A report released today highlights the growing issues of providing a reliable and affordable electricity system in Australia as industry continues to increase supply from renewable sources.

The Australian Energy Market Operator and ElectraNet has found there is increased risk of reliability issues in South Australia as a result of high levels of wind and solar energy, potentially requiring further investment to ensure adequate supply.

The Australian Energy Council’s chief executive Matthew Warren said South Australia is at the leading edge of renewable generation, and has become an “accidental experiment in integrating wind and solar at scale”.

“These are new technical challenges that we are solving in real time. It is critical we get this right to ensure continued confidence in the transformation to a decarbonised energy system,” he said.

“Consumers reasonably expect a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy system. The report underlines the significant challenges we face in delivering this as we transition to a low greenhouse future.

 

“By 2017 four of South Australia’s largest power stations will have been either partially or fully withdrawn. As a result, South Australians are increasingly reliant on a narrower range of generation sources to meet their needs when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. We can manage this in a number of ways, but it will require significant extra investment and careful consideration.”