The National Electricity Market is undergoing a significant transformation. Over the next twenty years a large amount of Australia’s fleet of coal generators will reach the end of their operating life. It seems likely that much of that capacity will be replaced with renewables, in particular solar PV and wind turbines, with firming of those variable sources of generation provided by battery storage, pumped hydro and gas peaking units.
After a decade of slow growth in renewables, mostly residential rooftop solar and windfarms along Australia’s southern coast, 2017 was a breakthrough year for commercial scale solar. This has continued with 2018 the year that utility scale solar took off. There are also several more large windfarms under construction or planned and the South Australian solar thermal plant near Port Augusta.
There has been a global shift in business thinking and practice regarding renewables. Environment, social and governance challenges are key priorities for government and big corporates. Investors are increasingly divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in clean renewable energy as well.
Ground Mounted Solar
Solar Thermal Plant