Renewables and energy news that crossed Meralli’s desk last week…
CSIRO says wind and solar much cheaper than nuclear, even with added integration costs
The CSIRO has published the latest edition of its important GenCost report and responded to critics by dialing in near-term integration costs for wind, solar, and storage. But the result is just the same – renewables are clearly Australia’s cheapest energy option, and the story for nuclear just got a whole lot worse. (Renew Economy)
Coal will be all but gone by 2034 under Australia’s latest energy roadmap
Australia’s coal power stations will all close in 2038 – five years earlier than previously expected – and variable renewable energy capacity will need to triple by 2030 and increase sevenfold by 2050.
These are two key findings in the latest roadmap for Australia’s largest grid and electricity market, the National Electricity Market. The draft of a document known as 2024 Integrated System Plan, was released recently by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). It lays out a comprehensive path for the next 20 years as we wean ourselves off coal and embrace renewables firmed by storage. (AU Manufacturing)
NSW doubles size of Australia’s first renewable energy zone, appoints operator
The NSW state government has confirmed it will boost the carrying capacity of the country’s first renewable energy zone and has also announced the consortium that will manage the REZ and carry the burden of any cost over-runs.
The initial network capacity of the transmission infrastructure is expected to be 4.5 GW, but this will be increased to 6 GW to allow more wind and solar farms to be connected in the mid to late 2030s. (Renew Economy)
Sydney to host next year’s Australian Clean Economy skills symposium
Sydney has been selected as the host city for the 2024 Australian Clean Economy Skills Symposium, a groundbreaking event organised by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers. (Manufacturers’ Monthly)
Tickets: Australian Clean Economy Skills Symposium – Registration (iteca.edu.au)
GenCost: Cost of building Australia’s future electricity needs | CSIRO
Our photo of the week (from the Meralli archives) was taken at the Junee Solar Farm completed in 2023. The Junee Solar Farm located in Junee NSW was built by Meralli this year as a behind-the-meter project designed to offset large agribusiness power use. It is capable of powering the equivalent of 640 homes* and has an estimated CO2 offset of 2,646 tonnes**.
*Homes powered is based on an average Sydney household with 2.4 people who use 5,237 kWH per year)
** this is ‘tonnes of CO2 equivalent’ to the production of the same amount of energy via coal.