How much renewable energy is in grid-sourced electricity?

Updated: Jan 21

With our 2030 goal to source 50% of our electricity from renewable sources within five years, and 100% within ten years, its important for us to both track where the electricity we supply comes from, and for us to inform our customers where we are with our goal. Calendar year 2021 is our first full year of operation. Our Ten Year Plan report is released at the end of January 2022, and Our Blog remains one of the key communication tools we have to keep our customers updated in more detail. Summary of how we sourced electricity in 2021 In 2021, 8% of our electricity was purchased from our customers’ roof top PV solar. The remaining electricity was purchased from the National Electricity Market (NEM). Electricity sourced from the NEM* was 19% renewable in NSW and 11% renewable in QLD, which are the states in which we currently operate. Read more in Our Ten Year Plan report

How do we know how much renewable energy is in the grid? Accurate, up-to-date data is vital for the day-to-day management of the NEM. Accordingly, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) the central government owned company who operates the NEM, provides live and historical data for all market participants, and consumers. You can access the dashboard at any time, here. Our data was sourced using the '12month' data option.

When is there more renewable energy in the grid? As power generation accounts for around 30 per cent of the Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable power usage can make a major difference to our countries overall emissions. The major sources of renewable electricity supply are hydro, solar and wind, with biomass also making a small contribution in the QLD region. Because electricity in the NEM is produced and supplied in real time, the mix can be viewed at different times of the day. Wind and solar energy have variable periods of generation, so as individuals we can try to use more electricity when there is solar and wind in the grid. That might mean making sure we do that load of washing or cook that meal during the day, rather than late at night (when the sun is not shining.)

For example, in the comparative snapshot images above, the difference in energy mix is visible between two different times of day, the left image at 8pm with no solar generation, and the right image at 1pm with 13% solar generation. Whilst these snapshots are taken on different days, they serve to show the difference in the energy mix during different periods of the day, in this case a day vs night comparison.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ It all started at a weekend BBQ, discussing living in a time of changing climate and the impact it will have on our families lives in coming decades. ​We were surprised to find so much electricity was still being generated by fossil fuels. ​We were disappointed that there was a lack of adoption and investment in renewable energy in Australia. ​Certainly, we could go back to our jobs and keep talking about it at weekend BBQs, in the hope that someone else does something about it, but o answer was to start a new electricity retailer with the purpose of driving demand for renewable electricity.

Call or email Bright Spark Power to start a conversation about how you can help us reach 100% renewable energy, and deliver an innovative, more sustainable, more affordable energy future for Australia. Call 1300 010 277 weekdays or email anytime. About the NEM..... Operating in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, the National Energy Market is both a wholesale electricity market and the physical power system that delivers electricity into your home. AEMO also operates the retail electricity markets that underpin the wholesale market.