Australia’s shift towards solar power reached new heights over the weekend, as the country set records for solar output and generation share. In a remarkable milestone, the share of rooftop and large-scale solar reached a peak of 65.7% across the main grid on Saturday, surpassing all previous records. This surge in solar power led to a corresponding decrease in coal output, which plummeted to a record low of 4709 MW just before midday on Sunday.
One of the most significant observations was made in New South Wales (NSW), which boasts the largest coal fleet in the country but is also witnessing a transition towards renewable energy sources. At 11.30am on Sunday, the output of black coal dropped to a mere 1.53 GW, barely reaching one-sixth of its registered capacity. This decrease can be attributed to a combination of required repairs and maintenance, which have periodically taken portions of the coal fleet out of operation. Additionally, the rise of solar power has played a role in squeezing coal’s share of energy production.
The influence of solar power on the grid was particularly pronounced in NSW, where the share of rooftop and large-scale solar reached a record high of 80% of state demand on Sunday morning. This record surpassed the previous day’s peak of 74.6% and shattered the previous record of 72.9%. These figures reflect the growing importance of solar energy in meeting the energy needs of the state.
Victoria also experienced a surge in solar power, setting a new record of 69.1% rooftop and large-scale solar on Saturday, up from 67.6% just one week earlier. This trend further emphasizes the expanding role of solar energy in Australia’s energy landscape.
As the country continues to transition towards renewable energy, the records set over the weekend serve as a clear indication of the rapid growth and increasing dominance of solar power. With its abundant sunshine and ongoing advancements in solar technology, Australia is poised to become a global leader in renewable energy generation.
Q: What caused the decrease in coal output?
A: The decrease in coal output was due to a combination of required repairs and maintenance, which temporarily took portions of the coal fleet out of operation, and the growing influence of solar power.
Q: How did solar power affect energy production in New South Wales?
A: Solar power reached a record high of 80% of state demand in NSW, surpassing previous records and indicating the increasing importance of solar energy in meeting the energy needs of the state.
Q: Are other regions in Australia experiencing a similar rise in solar power?
A: Yes, Victoria also witnessed a surge in solar power, with a new record of 69.1% rooftop and large-scale solar. This demonstrates the expanding role of solar energy across the country.
Sources: GPE NEMLog 2 (data source)