Renewable Energy in Australia 2013

Hydro Power

The best known is the Snowy Mountain Hydroelectric scheme that has been operating for decades. It has since been joined by further large hydro schemes in Tasmania and smaller ones in other states such that there are now over 100 hydroelectric plants in operation.[1]

Wind Power

By far the strongest growing source of power there are about 10 wind farms that generate over 100 megawatts of electricity, with many more of all sizes under construction.[2] Current estimates are that total wind power is now over 7,700 GWh per year.

Solar Power

Sunwiz maintain a list of all solar installations over 40kW which is available here. This shows there are many commercial solar installations both completed and underway and they keep getting larger with multiple 1 Megawatt power plants in existence in 2013, including Uterne deployed by community groups near Alice Springs with the assistance of the Northern Territory Power and Water Authority (PAWA). The largest is the Greenough River power station near Geraldton in Western Australia that was commissioned in 2012 and generates 10 megawatts of electricity.

Tidal Power

PowerWater (The Northern Territory grid operator) has also been heavily involved in trial projects to deploy a tidal

Electricity Production Targets – 2013

The measures of progress for this section are: Percentage of renewable energy production in Australia In order to make measurement easier and relevant to the existing electricity grids, this will be separated into three parts;

i. National Grid[1] (South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland)

Renewable Energy within National Grid 2012

ii. Northern Territory[2]

Renewable Energy within Northern Territory Grids

iii. Western Australia[3]

Renewable Energy within Western Australian Grids 2012




Australian Electricity Consumption 2012/13

Australian Annual Energy Consumption – Grid Systems [1]

In addition to the grid consumption, there are many additional generators operated primarily by the mining industry. These add another 55 TWh to the annual consumption volume in Australia, finishing with a total of 255TWh per year.

“In 2010–11, Australia’s principal electricity generation capacity was around 54 gigawatts. Average capacity utilization remained between 48 per cent and 55 per cent over the past five years.”[2]

This means that for each hour of the 24 hours of a random day, consumption was between 25.9 and 29.7 GW. At some points during peak usage, that hourly figure could have been as high as 54GW and would have been lower during off-peak hours.

a includes wind, hydro, solar PV and bioenergy.

b includes multi-fuel power plants.

Australian Electricity Generation by energy source

Renewable energy sources made up 9.4% of the total volume in 2011-12. This figure changed by the end of 2013, but no further data was available.

Australian Electricity Generation 2011-12 by Energy Source [3]

This means that renewable energy sources are on average producing 2.75GW per