News

South Australia is the first major state in the world to run off 100% solar-powered energy

South Australia has made history as the first major jurisdiction to run completely off of solar-powered energy.

South Australia has become the first major jurisdiction in the world to run completely off of solar-powered electricity.

The achievement only lasted for an hour but, nonetheless, is still remarkable.

adelaide, renewable energy, world first, south australia

The ABC reported that, for a little over an hour on October 11th, 100% of the state’s electricity came directly from solar energy. The company that manages the national electricity grid, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), stated that this was a world-first for such a large area of land. “Never before has a jurisdiction the size of South Australia been completely run by solar power, with consumers’ rooftop solar systems contributing 77%,” Managing Director of AEMO, Audrey Zibelman said.

It is estimated that one-third of all homes in South Australia have rooftop solar panels, which has largely contributed to this triumph. Energy generated from the state’s expansive solar panel farms also contributed to the achievement. While gas power stations and wind farms remained in operation during this hour, it is assumed that any reserve energy generated was either exported to Victoria or kept in state reserves.

“South Australia is experiencing a surge in rooftop solar installations, AEMO is forecasting an additional 36,000 new rooftop solar systems in the next 14 months, which will mean that South Australia’s grid will see zero demand as rooftop solar alone will be capable of meeting 100% of demand,” Zibelman added. “This is truly a phenomenon in the global energy landscape.” 

According to The International Energy Agency (IEA), solar-powered energy is now the cheapest source of electricity in the world, which is a very promising step forward for renewable energy. “The IEA are hoping for ‘43% more solar output by 2040 than it expected in 2018, partly due to detailed new analysis showing that solar power is 20 to 50% cheaper than thought,” Carbon Brief write.

If we want to reduce fossil fuels and emissions to take control of climate change, scientists have confirmed that the next decade will be critical in converting to renewable energy. Good news for the environment though, the IEA has predicted that renewable resources will produce more energy than coal by as soon as 2025.