Nov 12, 2020Clean Energy Future

Gas, Renewables and South Australia

South Australia is a renewable energy success story. The often-untold part of that story?

It depends on natural gas.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) reports 50 per cent of scheduled generation capacity for Summer 2019/20 and Winter 2020 in the state, comes from gas.

To keep the lights on, renewables need a sidekick.

Energy sources like wind and solar are variable. If the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, they need back-up. That back-up needs to be flexible and capable of ramping up and down rapidly to make sure demand is always met.

Natural gas generators are the perfect complement to renewables. An example? gas-fired Barker Inlet Power Station can achieve maximum operation within five minutes at a higher level of efficiency that pre-existing gas power generators.

Critical to South Australia, gas generated energy is increasing significantly, while the amount of emissions created by powering the South Australian grid continues to decline.

As people return home from work on a cloudy, windless day to switch on their lights, televisions and appliances and settle in for the evening, gas generated energy is there to make sure their energy needs are met.