Solar energy briefly overtakes coal - is Australia’s future solar powered?

wind turbines and solar panels providing renewable energy to overtake coal in australia

You read that headline right - for roughly half an hour on 19 August, 2022, solar power peaked as Australia’s top source of power.

At around lunchtime, solar energy eclipsed coal, putting it not just at the head of renewable energy sources but also of all Australia’s energy for the time, according to Energy Edge. The calculation measures all power usage in Australia excluding the Northern Territory and Western Australia. 

At this time, solar accounted for roughly 40% of power usage while coal made up about 38%. Wind power followed in third, with renewables together accounting for approximately 60% of energy usage.

This is a promising sign for Australia’s future. With traditional energy costs on the rise and many places experiencing gas shortages, renewable energy is becoming more and more of a hot topic for conversation.

A lift in wind and solar energy? 

Solar energy has huge potential in Australia, with Aussies having the highest proportion of energy provided by solar power. The consistent demand for solar and its impressive results mean we could see further growth in the sector.

Solar isn’t standing alone, though. These results come hot on the heels of another notable renewable energy day - on 18 August, 2022, 69% of Victoria’s power supply came from wind energy. 

Wind energy is carrying its own weight in the energy realm. Wind and solar are the lowest cost energy sources, according to the Ember Global Electricity Review 2022, and Australia has made impressive strides across both.

After the Netherlands, Australia has had the highest swing towards renewable energy in the world - shifting more than 8% away from fossil fuels in just two years. Our share of energy from wind has doubled in the past two years (from 5% to 10%).

As we head into warmer weather, experts are anticipating a strong season for solar. If we’re looking at the trends of the past two years, hopefully we can also anticipate a strong future in renewable energy altogether.

Looking to make your move to greener energy? Learn all about saving on solar installation and read out renewable energy FAQs - for solar power and wind power. Otherwise, find out how other Aussies are feeling about the energy crisis in our 2022 Energy Report.


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