Gas Generation Losing to Renewables

Data reveals 2020 was a shocker for gas.

Gas generation in Australia’s largest electricity grid fell by 19 percent in 2020 while solar and wind had a record year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This latest data clearly shows that gas is on the way out and has no role to play in our economic recovery. It is foolish to waste taxpayers’ money building new gas power stations. It is completely unnecessary,” said Climate Council researcher Tim Baxter.

Renewables provided 26 percent of power to the National Electricity Market in 2020, while gas provided just 8 percent. This is in line with the Australian Energy Market Operator’s modelling in the Integrated System Plan, which sees the role of gas continually declining over the next two decades.

Climate Council analysis of publicly available data on OpenNEM has revealed that 2020 was a record year for renewables and a shocker for gas,” said Mr Baxter.

The data reveals that gas power stations in New South Wales had a whopping 46 percent drop in generation to just 1.6 percent. Victoria saw an even bigger 52 percent decline.

The Federal Government needs to abandon the folly of new gas in the electricity sector and let the states and territories get on with the energy transition and economic recovery,” said Mr Baxter.

Gas is a fossil fuel driving climate change and Australians are being hit hard with catastrophic bushfires and the third mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in five years. The good news is we do not need any new gas infrastructure,” he said.

Renewables and storage are affordable, reliable and clean. They create jobs, attract investment across regional Australia and drive down power bills,” he said.

Further information

The National Electricity Market is Australia’s largest grid and supplies the vast majority of Australia’s electricity.

OpenNEM is an open source platform that displays electricity generation data. View the data here: opennem.org.au/energy

State

Renewable energy generation in 2020

Gas power generation in 2020

National Electricity Market

26.4%

7.5%

Tasmania

99.2%

0.8%

South Australia

58.5%

41%

Western Australia (South West Interconnected System only)

26.3%

37.2%

Victoria

25.6%

3.1%

New South Wales

19.3%

1.6%

Queensland

15.2%

10.6%