AEMO report confirms wind and solar best cure for fossil fuel hyper-inflation
Author: Tim Buckley
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released its fourth quar of 2022 (4Q2022) Quarly Energy Dynamics report on January 25, 2023. It is a stark and welcome reminder that the green energy transition in Australia is well established and accelerating beyond expectations. While rampant hyperinflation of all things fossil fuels caused mass disruption in 2022, the underlying trends are clear – and the burgeoning of renewables and decline of coal and gas in the grid ultimately spell permanent price relief. Notably, fossil fuels sank to their lowest-ever levels across Australia’s east-coast electricity mix in the final three months of 2022. Renewable energy overtook black coal for the first time in the history of the grid, driven by unreliability, unaffordability and unavailability of coal (particularly in Queensland) and lower demand. Renewable energy generation hit a record high, providing on average 40.4% of the grid’s supply during 4Q2022. This beat the previous record of 35% set in the fourth quar of 2021. Renewables in the east coast grid peaked at close to 69% on 28 October, exceeding the previous record of 64% set only the previous quar. The 4Q2022 also saw the highest wind generation for any quar on record, with output from wind and grid-scale solar growing strongly as new facilities were connected and commissioned. Across the 3 months, utility wind and solar comprised 20% of total generation, not including rooftop solar.