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How South Australia is leading the way in renewable energy

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Did you know that one in four homes in South Australia have solar panels? That’s more than any other state in Australia. In fact, 36 per cent of SA’s electricity is now sourced from renewable sources.  Here’s a closer look at how the state is leading the way in renewable energy.

The renewable energy leader

Over the past 15 years, South Australia has installed more large-scale renewable capacity than any other state, and boasts more than 160,000 home and business solar systems. According to a report from the Energy Supply Association of Australia, Australia has a higher rate of solar panel installation than any other country in the world, with a whopping 15 per cent of roofs sporting them.

Now, with the closure of the Leigh Creek coal mine and two coal-fired power stations in the town of Port Augusta, SA has even more incentive to go 100 per cent renewable. Plans for 15 new wind-generation projects  are currently on the table, which would effectively double the number of wind farms already operating in the state.

While wind power is leading the way for renewable energy in SA, solar energy is not far behind. According to projections by the Australian Energy Market Operator, installations of solar rooftop PV (photovoltaic) panels are expected to grow by an average of 11.3 per cent each year over the next decade, generating a massive 2495 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually by 2025. That’s enough energy to power more than 350,000 homes for a year.

Zero emissions by 2050

Further cementing SA’s reputation as the leader in renewable energy, the state plans to adopt a target of zero net emissions by 2050, following recommendations from the Low Carbon Economy Expert Panel.

According to a press release from SA Premier Jay Weatherill’s office, “the Expert Panel’s report is a roadmap for our state to reduce emissions in a way that supports job growth in new and emerging green technologies”. With this move, he says that South Australia will have the opportunity to position itself as a leader in a low-carbon economy, resulting in greater energy savings for businesses and consumers.

Renewable energy is paving the way for South Australia’s future. If you live in South Australia and have, or are considering solar power, EnergyAustralia has voluntarily increased the solar feed-in tariff to 8.2 cents per kWh* - that’s 18% higher than the minimum tariff set by Essential Services Commission of South Australia. Find out how you can earn more from your solar.

*This tariff is available to all residential customers in South Australia only. The solar feed-in tariff is 8.2c/kWh (excluding GST). Our rates are available at energyaustralia.com.au/conditions-pricing.

  1. The Climate Council Report: The Australian Renewable Energy race: Which States Are Winning or Losing? 2014
  2. The Climate Council Report: The Australian Renewable Energy race: Which States Are Winning or Losing? 2014
  3. Energy Supply Association of Australia: SOLAR REPORT – DECEMBER 2015
  4. South-Australian-Electricity-Report
  5. Calculation: 1 GWh = 1,000,000 kWh. The average Australian home uses about 7000 kWh per year. Divide 1,000,000 kWh / 7000 kWh to get the # of homes that can be powered by 1 GWh e.g.) 1,000,000 kWh / 7000 kWh = 142.85714285 homes per year. Multiply 142.85714285 x 2,495 (GWh) to get the # of homes powered. For example 142.85714285 x 2495 = 356428.571429 homes