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South Australia Likely To Reach 50% Renewable Energy Within 10 Years

Wind farm in South Australia

The state of South Australia is likely to have 50% renewable energy within 10 years, a new Australian Energy Market Operator report has predicted.

Renew Economy has reported that wind energy already supplies 27% of the state’s power (up to 46% in a very good week), and 20% of houses already have rooftop solar in the state. South Australia is “emerging as one of the leading regions in the world in the take-up of variable renewable energy sources”, Giles Parkinson reveals, and it could well become “the first industrial economy to reach 50% variable renewable generation”. I could happen within 10 years.

Although rooftop solar panels accounted for just 3.7% of South Australia’s electricity last year, that amount is set to treble over the next 10 years, according to the AEMO report. Frankly, given the exponential growth trend of solar around the world, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up far surpassing that. Even so, the AEMO prediction would mean that half of all houses in South Australia will have solar within 10 years.

Parkinson points out that in terms of reaching 50% renewable energy in 10 years, Denmark could be a close rival for that honour – not to mention that it’s a country rather than a state. Denmark’s ambitious goal is 50 percent renewable energy by 2020, and there’s little doubt the country can reach its goal. Denmark is also aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2050, and it recently reached its 2020 solar development goal 8 years early.

In addition, South Australia may be doing well in terms of renewable energy, but Australia as a whole is so far unlikely to match the likes of the biggest renewable energy player: Germany. Although very heavily industrialised and more heavily populated, Germany is aiming for 35% renewable energy by 2020. Australia is aiming for 20% renewable energy by 2020. So far, the state of South Australia is certainly doing its part to help make that happen.

Do you think Australia will end up exceeding its target of 20% renewable energy by 2020? After all, it’s not called the “sunburnt country” for nothing.

Image CC licensed by Ian Sutton: Hallett Wind Farm in South Australia.
Via Renew Economy

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