STARTLING NEW DATA: New data has revealed gas generation in Australia’s largest electricity grid fell by 19 per cent in 2020 while solar and wind had a record year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: File
STARTLING NEW DATA: New data has revealed gas generation in Australia’s largest electricity grid fell by 19 per cent in 2020 while solar and wind had a record year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: File

REVEALED: Gas industry’s troubling year during 2020

New data has revealed gas generation in Australia’s largest electricity grid fell by 19 per cent in 2020, while solar and wind had a record year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Renewables provided 26 per cent of power to the National Electricity Market in 2020, while gas provided just 8 per cent.

This is in line with the Australian Energy Market Operator’s modelling in the Integrated System Plan, which identified the role of gas declining over the next two decades.

Climate Council researcher Tim Baxter said the data showed that gas was “on the way out”, and believed it had “no role” in Australia’s economic recovery.

“It is foolish to waste taxpayers’ money building new gas power stations, it is completely unnecessary,” Mr Baxter said.

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

The data revealed that gas power stations in New South Wales had a whopping 46 per cent drop in generation to just 1.6 per cent.

Victoria saw an even bigger 52 per cent 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,” Mr Baxter said.

“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 … renewables and storage are affordable, reliable and clean.

“They create jobs, attract investment across regional Australia and drive down power bills.”

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