Cornwall Insight Australia has found that renewables have contributed an average of ~10 percent of total generation in New South Wales in the last four years, meaning that there is a noticeable gap between conventional power generation and renewables in the state.
Wind farm in Australia. Courtesy of Lawrence Murray.
Over that same period, coal generators (exiting the market by 2035) provided on average ~77 percent of total generation in NSW.
“It is startling that over the next 10-15 years, ~77 percent of the current generation sent-out in NSW would have to come from elsewhere” said Lumi Adisa, Lead Consultant – Market Analysis and Business Development at Cornwall Insight Australia. “It is particularly poignant that this gap will have to be bridged by technologies whose generation has grown by just ~7 percent in the last four years. The Central-West REZ represents a significant move to help bridge this gap. NSW is also looking to improve its import capacity with ~3GW of interconnector expansions in various stages of regulatory approvals. Other innovative models for network reinforcements within the state are also being planned in preparation for new generation seeking to connect. NSW will undoubtedly continue pushing the envelope as it prepares for a shift in the pace of renewable/storage development needed to close this gap. It is however left to be seen if regulation can keep up. While the urgency needed in the transition is most evident in NSW, the state is not alone; Victoria and Queensland are also preparing for significant coal exits in the coming years.”