‘Unparalleled in the world’: Australian grid operator maps path to 100% renewables

(Climate Home News, 1 Dec 2022) Australia’s Electricity Market Operator has laid out the engineering roadmap it needs to able to operate the country’s main grids on 100% renewable power for “hours and days” at a time.

The good news is that – despite the views of some vocal skeptics – it can be done. But there’s a bunch of things that need to happen first to smooth the way for the power system – for so long dependent on coal and gas – to be capable of running, at times, entirely on renewable energy.

AEMO chief executive Daniel Westerman says operating a gigawatt-scale power system at 100% instantaneous renewable generation is a feat unparalleled in the world.

South Australia has already operated at “net 100%” renewables, but never without any fossil fuel generation. It exports excess wind and solar to Victoria, and in a few years will do so also to New South Wales through a new transmission link.

By 2025, however, Australia’s entire main grid is expected to reach that landmark event of 100% instantaneous renewables, initially for a half hour period, with nowhere to export to.

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Climate Home News, 1 Dec 2022: ‘Unparalleled in the world’: Australian grid operator maps path to 100% renewables