Australian renewable energy generation tops gas for first time in 2019, coal falls to record low.

31 05 2020 | 08:44

More electricity was produced from renewable energy sources Australia-wide than gas generation for the first time in 2019, as a surge in wind and solar generation also pushes the share of electricity generated from coal to an all-time low.

The milestones have been detailed in an early update to the official Australian Energy Statistics published by the federal government on Wednesday, with renewable sources providing a combined 21 per cent of electricity generation in 2019.

This saw the combined market share of renewable energy sources, including wind, hydro, solar and bioenergy surpass gas generation for the first time, with gas supplying 20.5 per cent of Australia’s electricity use last year.

Both wind and solar generation overtook hydroelectricity in 2019 to become Australia’s largest and second-largest sources of renewable electricity generation, respectively. Wind and solar generation have been the fastest-growing sources of electricity supplies in Australia over the last decade, with coal experiencing a multi-decade decline as older coal generators begin to exit the market.

Wind generation supplied 7.4 per cent of Australia’s electricity, compared to 5.4 per cent from hydro. The amount of electricity supplied from solar, from both large and small systems, reached 6.8 per cent in 2019.

The share of Australia’s electricity produced by coal fell below 60 per cent in 2019, with black coal generating 43.9 per cent of Australia’s power, and brown coal providing falling to 12.5 per cent. This is down from a historic high of almost 84 per cent achieved in the late 1990s.



27 May 2020