“Tsunami” of renewables


Head Honcho
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New analysis suggests that a flood of new wind and solar projects will drive electricity prices lower, and higher gas prices will mean the fossil fuel will play a minimal role in the future energy system.

A new analysis published by analyst firm Reputex on Monday estimates that around 7GW of new wind and solar projects will be commissioned in Australia’s main grid within the next two years, with a pipeline of more than 60GW of new projects out to 2040.

The majority of this new capacity will be focused in New South Wales and Victoria and will come as around 13GW of black coal power stations and 1.4GW of brown coal generators exit the market over the same period. . . .

Reputex analysis echoed recent suggestions of Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott, with both suggesting that Australia is on track for a renewable energy penetration above 90 per cent by 2040, despite minimal support from the federal government.

Reputex says that this growth in low cost wind and solar generation will help to suppress electricity prices, with wholesale prices expected to stabilise around $40 to $50 per megawatt-hour.

Head of carbon and power markets at Reputex, Bret Harper, said that while the addition of new wind and solar projects was occurring at a rapid pace, investment in new network infrastructure was lagging behind. Key to addressing this, the firm said, was state government plans to establish dedicated renewable energy zones and the coordination of new network infrastructure to serve these zones.

Hopefully most wind power will be offshore. Don’t know about any storage. Definitely need major work and change of attitude about the grid, rooftop solar and microgrids and integrating renewable power sources at utility level.