Friday, 03 Feb 2023

Record levels of renewable energy push demand for electricity from the grid to all-time low for December quarter

Record levels of renewable energy push demand for electricity from the grid to all-time low for December quarter


Record levels of renewable energy push demand for electricity from the grid to all-time low for December quarter

Milder temperatures and record levels of renewable energy drove electricity demand to its lowest levels for any December quarter, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Wholesale power prices also retreated during the period, particularly after the Albanese government imposed price caps on black coal and gas that are used to generate power, AEMO said in its quarterly report released on Wednesday.

The average price of $93/megawatt-hour across the national electricity market (NEM) that serves eastern Australia was less than half the $216/MWh cost in the September quarter. Still, it was almost 80% higher than for the final three months of 2021.

Renewable energy from wind, solar and hydro supplied an average of 40.3% of power in the NEM, a record for any quarter since the NEM started in 1998.

It exceeded the previous high, set a year earlier, of 35.8%, AEMO said.

The tail end of the third La Niña event in as many years trimmed power demand for daytime air-conditioning.

A 16% increase in electricity output from rooftop solar panels, or 410MW on average, also decreased demand from the grid.

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