Solar Generated Maximum Electricity Among all Renewables in Australia

Solar passes all other renewable resources in terms of Australia’s electricity generation in 2020. According to ‘Australia Energy Statistics’ 2020, published by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources, the total electricity generation in Australia was estimated to be 265,232 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in the calendar year 2020, remaining materially unchanged since 2019.

Interestingly, solar energy tops the table by generating 9 percent of total electricity generation followed by wind and hydro making it an overall 24 percent generation through renewable resources. The share of renewable resources in electricity generation has increased from 21 percent in 2019. Readers will recall that in India too, Solar capacity has overtaken wind energy, although comparing data on actual generation between the two is not available.

Coming back to Australia, thermal sources contributed 200,566 GWh i.e. 76 percent of total electricity generation in 2020. While Coal accounted for the majority of electricity generation, at 54 percent of total generation in 2020.

With the rise in solar generation from both small-scale and large-scale solar installations, solar energy is now the largest source of renewable electricity in Australia, overtaking wind for the first time.

In 2020, total output from large-scale solar projects rose 36.2 percent, while small-scale rooftop installations added a further 27.5 percent. And this happened due to the fact that since 2015, total output from Australia’s solar installations has increased by a massive 385 percent, driven in large part by a 1,368 percent increase in generation from large-scale solar projects in just five years.

As Australia’s renewables are growing year by year generating more electricity and the Australian electricity market has been witnessing an inclination towards renewables, the federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor commented in an accompanying statement, “My focus is ensuring Australia’s energy system remains reliable and affordable for all Australians.”

“We are a renewable energy powerhouse, and this is something we should be proud of, but renewables need a reliable generation to back them up and maintain pressure on prices when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing,” Taylor added.

The full Australian Energy Statistics will be published later in the year, says the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.