It's just became the world’s largest region to meet all of its energy needs from solar power.
Climate change, advances in technology and lower costs are driving the adoption of solar around the world, but some places are already leaning on it quite heavily as a part of their energy mix. This is true of the state of South Australia, which for a short period earlier in October met 100 percent of its energy needs from solar power - a world-first for a jurisdiction of its size.
Although the moment was brief, solar power accounted for 100 percent of South Australia’s power needs on 11 October for an hour between noon and 1 pm. To put this in perspective, this means 379,725 square miles of land, an area more than 2 times larger than California and nearly 3 times the size of England, successfully generated enough renewable power to meet all their energy demands.
This achievement is in part due to the fact that one in three homes in South Australia has rooftop solar panels that complement the region’s large-scale solar facilities. Rooftop panels account for 77 percent of the solar energy generated.
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) forecasts that instances of 100% solar power will become more common thanks to the continued surge in demand for solar panel installation.
“South Australia is experiencing a surge in rooftop solar installations,” says CEO of AEMO, Audrey Zibelman. “We are 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 per cent of demand. This is truly a phenomenon in the global energy landscape.”
Transitioning from traditional energy systems to renewables can seem like an overwhelming task, but South Australia demonstrates that it's not only feasible but, happily, already here. So, frankly, there's no excuse for sunny countries not to get on with it! For places like the UK, wind power is the better option and much is being done to transition the nation accordingly. That's why the UK is often described as the Saudia Arabia of wind power.
Australia to Build World's Largest Solar Farm: The Australian outback is set to become home to the world’s largest solar farm, with the project expected to provide power to places as far away as Singapore. Called Sun Cable, the 10-gigawatt solar farm will occupy 120 square km (46 square miles) in a remote corner of the country’s Northern Territories.