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Solar contribution grows

Solar’s growing contribution to the National Electricity Market will create a midday off-peak period in summer months and shorten existing peak periods, bringing down power prices for Australian households and business, claims new analysis released by Green Energy Markets and commissioned by GetUp.

It reveals that by 2021 solar will generate on average around a quarter of the National Electricity Market’s power during peak periods in the Summer months and as much as 40 per cent of power in the middle of the day.

This high period in solar generation coincides with the highest demands for power from households and businesses, using air conditioners to stay cool and keep perishables cold during long hot summers.

GEM analyst Tristan Edis said solar would create a complete reversal of the current norm with the summer midday peak becoming off-peak, quelling the need for coal and gas power. “The extra rooftop and solar farm power in 2021 will mean we’ll need far less expensive gas power and it will allow for the conservation of power from hydro water storage, leading to lower electricity prices overall.”

“This report … shows what a positive impact solar alone can have on the National Energy Market, by adding supply and therefore cutting prices when demand peaks.”

  • Renewables made up 24 per cent of the electricity generated in Australia’s main grids
  • Enough renewable energy was generated over September to power 10.3 million homes
  • Renewable energy avoided 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 pollution in September
  • Renewable energy avoided 10.6 million cars’ worth of CO2 pollution in September
  • There are 6,290 megawatts of large-scale renewables currently under construction
  • Equating to enough work to employ 15,765 people
  • 17,618 small-scale solar systems installed in September
  • Rooftop solar employed 5,922 people in September
  • Enough rooftop solar installed in September to power 36,085 homes
  • Rooftop solar installed in September alone will deliver $238 million in bill savings


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