Renewables making electricity cleaner and cheaper: AEMO

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) latest data shows that renewable energy is our electricity market’s Most Valuable Player, driving down costs and emissions while reducing our reliance on polluting, expensive coal and gas.

“In the thick of a cost of living and climate crisis, record high wind and solar generation have heroically delivered cheaper wholesale electricity and the National Electricity Market’s lowest emissions for the last quarter of 2022,” Dr Jennifer Rayner, Climate Council’s Head of Advocacy, said.

“Clean, affordable renewables are also helping reduce our reliance on coal and gas, which are not only eye-wateringly expensive, but fuel dangerous climate change.

“We can and should power Australia with 100% renewable energy, backed by storage. State and Federal governments are making positive steps to increase investment in renewables and storage, but we must keep ramping up the effort so we can reach 100% renewables by 2030,” said Dr Rayner.

AEMO’s Quarterly Energy Dynamics report for October – December 2022 showed:

  • Average renewable output was the highest on record, peak renewable contribution records continue to be broken, and the overall contribution of both coal and gas fell
  • The increased share of wind and grid-scale solar in setting prices reduced wholesale prices, while the share of coal generation reduced.
  • Wind and grid-scale solar produced a fifth of total generation in the NEM in Q4 2022
  • The NEM’s emissions for the fourth quarter of the year dropped to record lows, thanks to record-high renewables and record-low coal.

“Two of Australia’s most urgent energy priorities are to drive down electricity prices and reduce emissions this decade to avoid the worst impacts of dangerous climate change. A fully renewables-powered grid will help tackle the cost of living and climate crises together in the best two-for-one deal Australians will ever see,” Dr Rayner said.

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