South Australian Wind Power – It’s Heaps Good

Turbine Image: BigStock

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good they say and that was certainly the case in South Australia earlier this week when wind power generated more than half the state’s electricity.
According to the Clean Energy Council; based on data from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), 55 per cent of all the electricity consumed in South Australian on Wednesday was generated by the state’s wind farms.
“In the early hours of Wednesday morning, there was a peak where 80 per cent of the state’s power came from the wind and South Australia exported some of its energy to Victoria. The figure is still slightly short of the 85.5 per cent record which was set in September a year ago.” said the CEC’s Policy Director, Russel Marsh.
Wind power is significantly contributing to South Australia’s electricity supplies – and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mr Marsh said emissions from South Australia’s power sector had fallen each year since 2005-06 and had reduced by more than 27 per cent over the last five years.
“All this wind is putting South Australia well ahead of the curve on Australia’s 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target, and helping to provide farmers and local businesses in regional areas with extra income.”
24.2 per cent of South Australia’s electricity came from wind farms during the 2011-12 financial year, while coal use dropped by 9 per cent over the same period.
South Australia is also home to many thousands of residential rooftop solar power systems. The state has the highest penetration of rooftop solar panels among the National Electricity Market (NEM) regions, with approximately one out of five SA homes having installed systems by the end of February this year.
Aside from the warm and fuzzy aspect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, South Australians have another compelling reason to make the switch to solar. The state’s electricity prices jumped by a massive 17% on August 1 last year and rose an additional 18% in July. 
According to solar provider Energy Matters, a 3kW solar power system installed in Adelaide can realise power bill savings of up to $1,140 a year.