Looking Beyond 100% Renewables

South Australia is by far the leader in Australia's energy transition. In just over 15 years, the state has transformed its energy system from heavy coal and natural gas reliance to zero coal and more than 60% renewables, supported by battery storage as well as gas. In 2021, South Australia generated 63% of its electricity from wind and solar power, supported by 22 wind farms, 4 solar farms, 4 grid-scale batteries, 2 world-leading home battery schemes and more than 10 virtual power plants. During nearly half of the days of 2021, renewable energy resources met 100% of the state's operational demand, bringing South Australia well ahead of its target for 100% net renewables by 2030. Following a call for expressions of interest by the South Australian government in early 2021, seven companies from Australia and across the globe were selected to invest and develop land around Port Bonython on the Eyre Peninsula for hydrogen export, specifically hydrogen produced using green methods (i.e., renewable hydrogen). The proposed projects, totalling more than AUD 13 billion (USD 9.4 billion) in investment, could generate up to 1.8 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030, both for domestic use and for export.

South Australia has defined an energy export strategy aimed at generating 500% of its energy needs and making the excess available for global use by 2050. To encourage investment in energy exports, the state is investing more than half a billion Australian dollars over four years to accelerate new hydrogen projects and shipping infrastructure in Whyalla, the gateway to the Eyre Peninsula. Additional locations are being identified around the Spencer Gulf, including Port Bonython, Port Pirie and Cape Hardy. A memorandum of understanding has been established with the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and export markets in Asia (such as Japan) also are being explored. The renewable hydrogen strategy also aims to produce green steel and green ammonia for domestic industry use.

Source: See endnote 12 for the Global Overview chapter

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