“South Australia aims to reach 100 per cent ‘net renewables’ within a few years – over a full year,” Giles Parkinson wrote this week in Renew Economy, “but in the past week it has already done better than that.” Parkinson reported that the region has in fact been averaging 104.1 per cent of consumer demand over the seven days prior filled by renewable sources.
The state of South Australia (pop. 1.7m) has been inspiring the world with its progress in fulfilling that region’s energy needs with renewable energy for some time. Australia is a huge coal producing nation but is innovating in all kinds of ways the rest of the world can take heart in seeing. In just one example, this Summer the Google/Meta/Stripe combined entity called Frontier made its first massive purchase ($925M) of Direct Air Capture services from a solar-powered facility in South Australia.
Presumably critics will site the region’s unusual access to sunshine and wind, saying that not everyone has such resources. It’s hard to stand in the middle of an oil-based economy and take that as the last word, though.
So if you need examples of places in the world that are making dramatic progress toward fully renewable energy at scale: remember South Australia!
I’m sure readers here have some thoughts and feelings about South Australia; it’s come up again and again in our solutions coverage in Exponential View, for example.
What lessons, inspirations, or concerns come to your mind regarding the important work being done in South Australia regarding transition to renewables?
3 thoughts on “Inspiration from South Australia: 104% renewable energy for a week”
Thinking about Australia, it becomes clear just how crucial democratic elections are. The recent federal election in May of this year further highlighted this fact. The results of the election played a significant role in advancing the country’s transition to renewable energy.
Yes! A look through our archives surfaces the June commitment after May’s Australian election to reduce emissions by 43% by the end of this decade (https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/16/australia-emissions-greenhouse-gases-00040123 ). Other stories I see out of there are thing like grid-scale batteries https://www.energy-storage.news/transgrid-billions-of-dollars-in-net-benefit-from-large-scale-battery-projects-in-new-south-wales/ and the draft resolution on the rights of Indigenous Australians. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australia-pm-unveils-draft-indigenous-recognition-referendum-question-2022-07-30 So much going on there!
Looks like we’re currently watching more than 20 sources from Australia, including John Cook, the School Strike 4 Climate Australia, Extinction Rebellion South Australia, and Nicky Ison of WWF Australia. And more. I wonder what they’d say the most important lessons from South Australia are right now.