August windy enough to light up 155,000 homes

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South Australia broke another wind power record during August, with the state's wind farms providing the equivalent of just under 40 per cent of the state's power, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said August had broken records for wind power across the country, with South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales all hitting new highs during the period.

“South Australia’s wind farms produced the lion’s share of the country’s wind power in August, with the 38 per cent mark easily beating the previous best monthly record of 31.2 per cent,” Mr Marsh said.

“The energy from all the wind farms in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales would be enough to power 155,000 Australian homes for a whole year.

“This adds to results published by the Australian Energy Market Operator last week which showed that more than a quarter of South Australia’s power came from wind power over the last financial year.

“Australia’s Renewable Energy Target is supporting projects that generate jobs and investment as well as clean energy,” he said.

The emerging field of ‘Toastie-nomics’ can also help to show how much power wind farms produce:

  • Australia’s wind farms generated 1024 gigawatt-hours in August, enough to make more than 6 billion (6,144,000,000) toasted sandwiches using an average sandwich press – almost enough for each person on Earth.
  • These sandwiches – assuming a stacked thickness of 2 cm – would stretch for a distance of 122,800 km.
  • The Earth has a circumference of 40,075 km, meaning the stacked sandwiches would go around the earth more than three times, or make it a third of the way to the moon.

Wind power by the numbers:

  • Australia’s wind farms provided a record amount of power in August, setting new benchmarks in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania and beating the previous national record by more than a third.
  • Wind power produced eight per cent of the power in the National Electricity Market during the month (1024 gigawatt-hours). This is enough to power Parliament House in Canberra for more than 40 years.
  • South Australia’s wind farms provided enough power for the equivalent of 38 per cent of the state’s power during August, beating the previous record of 31.2 per cent from August 2012.
  • Victoria’s wind farms produced the equivalent of 7.9 per cent of the state’s electricity over the month, beating the previous record of 5.4 per cent.
  • Tasmania produced 11 per cent of its power from wind energy (previous best 7.5 per cent), while NSW produced 1.8 per cent of its electricity (previous best 1.5 per cent).

This analysis was provided by consultancy and software firm IES using data sourced from the Australian Energy Market Operator.