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South Australia Hits Wind Power Milestone

Wind power in South Australia provided more than half of the state's power on Wednesday, September 5, according to the Clean Energy Council (CEC). And in the past year wind in the state has for the first time ever provided more energy than coal.

CEC policy director Russell Marsh said data from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) showed that 55 per cent of all the electricity used by South Australians on September 6 was generated by the state’s wind farms.

“In the early hours of Wednesday morning there was a peak where 80 per cent of the state’s power came from the wind and South Australia exported some of its energy to Victoria." The figure is still slightly short of the 85.5 per cent record which was set in September a year ago.

Marsh added that according to AEMO, in the 2011-12 financial year almost a quarter of South Australia’s electricity was generated by wind farms. This, he said, had led to a corresponding drop in generation from coal and gas plants, with wind generating more energy than coal for the first time.

Marsh said the data showed that emissions from South Australia’s power sector had fallen every year since 2005 and had reduced by more than 27 per cent over the last five years.

“All this wind is putting South Australia well ahead of the curve on Australia’s 20 per cent renewable energy target," he said.

Lead image: Wind turbines via Shutterstock

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