Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7



LAB GROUP (if applicable):
DATE OF LAB SESSION (if applicable):
By submitting this coursework with this information, I am confirming that the coursework is entirely my own work and
that I have clearly referenced any quotations, ideas, judgements, data, figures, software or diagrams that are not my own.
I have read the UCL guidance and advice on plagiarism available from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/currentstudents/guidelines/plagiarism and I understand that any false claim in respect of this work will result in disciplinary
action in accordance with the University of London's General Regulations for Internal Students.

Executive summary
This report provides information on current situation of electricity generation
and as well as providing an insight into the future development of renewable
energy power system in order to meet the target of 40% of total electricity
generated is from renewable sources. Most of the information on electrical
power sources is based on research on the Internet and the proposal to meet
the demand is based on the data found on Internet, together with predictions
and assumptions made by myself. Australia is one of the largest countries in
terms of size and one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and yet the
development of renewable energy only takes up less than 20% of total
electricity generated. Therefore it is necessary to increase the renewable
energy to reduce carbon emission to become one of the less carbon footprint
country and contribute to the worlds renewable energy market. The proposal
at the last section gives an idea of how electricity generated from renewable
source can be increased to match the demand for electricity. The proposal was
based on the 2 renewable sources I chose, and both of the renewable sources
have very high potential in Australia because of the climate and landscape. This
proposal has few limitations: all the calculations are based on simple
assumptions and costs and pay back time are not included in the report. The
time require to construct an energy farm is not included as well.

Electrical power source in Australia
Commonwealth of Australia is the worlds sixth largest country by total area
with an estimated population of 23.9 million in 2015 (1). It is well developed
and one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The majority of the population
live in urban areas and it is one of the worlds most urbanised countries.
Australia is made up of a variety of landscapes, with tropical rainforests in the
northeast, mountain ranges in the southwest and east, and dry desert in the
centre (2).
Australia has a diverse range of sources of electrical power and non-renewable
energy sources are the main sources for electrical power generation. According
to Origin Energy, an energy company in Australia, coal is the main source for
power generation, and make up 73% of the electricity generated. Natural gas is
also used and it generates 13% of the countrys electrical power. Renewable
energy contributes 14% to the countrys electrical power, and this includes
hydropower, wind, solar and bioenergy, and they contribute 7%, 4%, 2% and
1% to total generated electrical power respectively (3). Hydropower plants
have contributed the most to the electricity generated by renewable source;
contribute 60% to the renewable energy generation.

Electricity generation across Australia

Rooftop Solar



Natural Gas


Figure 1 Electricity generation across Australia pie chart

Potential of renewable sources in Australia

The geographical feature of Australia provides a bigger prospect to increase
the use of renewable sources in the future. Although hydropower contributes
the most to the electricity in renewable source, the majority of the suitable
hydropower sites have already been developed (4). Australia also have some
excellent solar and wind sources is some regions. Therefore I think I am
reasonable enough to foresee solar and wind can contribute more to the
electrical power generation in the future. Australia is one of the wealthiest
countries in the world with the worlds 12th economy in the world (1).
However the contribution to carbon emissions is one of the highest countries

in the world. It has sufficient funds to invest in solar and wind power system
and to strive to become one of the less carbon emission countries. Just like any
other developed country, Australia has implemented its own policy to reduce
carbon emission in order to reduce the significant impact of global warming
such as climate change (5).
Renewable energy sources are intermittent; therefore in order to raise the
potential of renewable energy is to have a variety of sources to compensate
each other. The landscape of Australia has made this more achievable. First,
lets evaluate the potential of solar energy. Below is Figure 2 showing the
annual average radiation, and you can recognise that majority of the land has
an average over 4kWh/m2 per day as well as the north and west region
received the most radiation (6).

Figure 3 Average annual daily sunshine hours

Figure 2 annual average solar radiations per (7)
kWh/m2 2007-2012 (6)
Another factor we can look at to prove that solar energy can be a huge
potential in Australia is the average daily sunshine hours. In figure 3, it shows
the Northwest region has an average sunlight more than 8 hours and the rest of
the land is about 5-6 hours (7).
Wind is another source that has a large potential, below is figure 4 showing a
map with the average wind speed in Australia. The east, south and west coast
line has an exceptional wind speed for wind turbine, averaging more than
7m/s in these areas (8).
With the improvement in technology
and design in wind turbines, it is
easier to yield more power from a
lower wind speed when compare to
the past. For example, several years
ago, Australian were aiming to get a
30 to 40% of capacity factor from a
site with wind speed of 8m/s, now
they can yield about the same
capacity factor with a lower speed
(8). This is due to the increase length
in wind turbine blades. The total cost
Figure 4 Average wind speed (8)

of a wind turbine is also reduced as the technology has improved and more
Electricity demand in Australia and prediction
The demand for electricity from the
National Electricity Market (NEM) in
Australia has been decreasing in recent
years. This is mainly due to three
reasons, firstly, because of the decreased
in demand from industries especially
because of the closure of 2 major
aluminium smelters, Kurri Kurri in New
South Wales and Point Henry in Victoria.
Secondly, the price of electricity in
Figure 5 demand for electricity per annum
Australia has increased and this changes
the behaviour of residential consumers
and become more aware of energy usage. Lastly, there is an increase in number
of installation of rooftop PV system in residents, which is also supported by
governments incentive such as feed-in tariff (10).
To predict the demand of electricity by 2035, we need to take account of
population growth, the fluctuations in electricity prices and industrial
In figure 5, the average annual change is around 0.5% in most of the state and
Victoria has a slightly greater percentage. This shows that the consumption is
generally flat. Population grows steadily in most of the state, fluctuating at 1%
to 2%, where Tasmania only has a growth rate of 0.5% annually (10). In figure
6, the table shows the forecast of electricity consumption in the industry sector.

Figure 6 residential and commercial consumption Figure 7 industrial consumption

forecast by state over the period 2014-15 to 2017- forecast by state over the period 201415 to 2017-18 (10)
18 (10)

The reason of the significant growth in demand for electricity in Queensland is

because LNG projects (the worlds first project to turn coal seams into liquefied
natural gas, to provide cleaner hydrocarbon energy for export markets from
2014.), and the project are set to become operational and reach estimated
production capacity in 2017-2018(10). Queensland also has the largest growth
in solar PV in residential sector, with an additional 1,113GWh of generation
forecast in 2017-2018 (figure 8)(10).

Figure 8 Rooftop PV forecast by state over the period 2014-15 to 2017-18 (10)

To conclude, the demand for electricity will continue to fall in residential sector
at a slow and steady rate as residents are more aware of the fluctuations in
electricity prices, energy efficiency and usage and residential PV has a growing
trend. As there is no significant decline in demand for electricity in the industry
sector, industrys demand will remain constant by 2035. We can assume the
total consumption per year decrease 1% per annum; therefore by 2035 the
total demand for electricity is estimated to be 185218GWh, based on the
consumption by 2014, 188979GWh.
To help Australia to reach 40% of total electricity generated is from
renewable sources by 2035
Figure 11 is a map showing the
current in-use pv/solar, solar thermal
and wind power plants that generate
over 100kW power. Figure 12 is the
population distribution in Australia.
As you can see there are sufficient
amount of land that hasnt been
developed and it is suitable for
renewable energy power to develop,
especially solar and wind.
In Western Australia and Northern
Territory, and even in some parts of
Figure 9 PV/solar, solar thermal and wind power Queensland and New South Wales,
plants over 100kW (11)
concentrated solar PV can be installed
in the future as these areas are
sparsely populated. The current largest
solar project in Australia was
approved in February, with a 2GW
solar farm taking up 5200 hectares of
land. To increase the use of renewable
sources to 40%, assume the
consumption in 2035 is 185218GWh
and hydroelectric power still take up
7% of total electricity generated and
an extra 15% will be generating from
solar PV. Then we can estimate the
Figure 10 population distribution in Australia
number of solar farm required to
generate 27782.7GWh. Assuming the
solar PV has the same frequency and uses 5200 hectares of land. Another 28 of
2GW wind farms can be installed to match the demand. Australia has the
sufficient amount of land to cope with 145600 hectares of wind farms. One of

the advantages of solar power system is that it can be an off-grid or on grid

system, in other words, residents can install solar PV or solar thermal on the
rooftop of their houses to store energy in batteries or transmit back to the grid.
With incentives given by government, it will encourage more residents to
install solar PV or solar thermal. This can contribute to the demand for
electricity as well.
Australia has 71 wind farms at the moment; with Macarthur wind farm set to
be the largest with a capacity of 420 MW occupying 5500 hectares of land. The
420MW has a capacity factor of 35%. Macarthur is in Victoria, the south of
Australia. From figure 10, there is plenty of land for such a large wind farm to
build on in the southern coastline. To match the 40% target by 2035, an extra
22% of total electricity generated from wind power station is needed. Based on
the Macarthur wind farm, assuming we used the same wind farm size and have
the same capacity factor, another five 420 MW wind farm is needed to supply
the demand for electricity of 6112.194GWh. This means it requires another
25000 hectares of land. The size of South Australia is 98 million hectares,
which it will be able to cope with the large development in wind farm. The
exceptional natural resource in Australia has given a great opportunity to even
surpass the 40% target. It is also important to not just focus in one major
renewable source, as most of the sources are intermittent. It will certainly the
right way to invest in different sources as they can compensate each other
throughout the day.
1. Australia C of, Statistics AB of. Population clock [Internet]. c=AU; o=Commonwealth of Australia;
ou=Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2015 [cited 2015 Oct 18]. Available from:
2. Australia [Internet]. Wikipedia. Wikipedia; 2015 [cited 2015 Oct 18]. Available from:
3. Energy O. Energy in Australia [Internet]. OriginEnergy. 2015 [cited 2015 Oct 18]. Available from:
4. Hydroelectricity [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2015 Oct 18]. Available from:
5. Renewable energy in Australia [Internet]. Wikipedia. Wikipedia; 2015 [cited 2015 Oct 18]. Available
from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Australia#cite_note-FS12-3
6. Solar power in Australia [Internet]. Wikipedia. Wikipedia; 2015 [cited 2015 Oct 18].
Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Australia
7. Water and the Land: Sunshine [Internet]. [cited 2015 Oct 18]. Available from:
8. CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Wind power unlocks its potential [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2015 Oct 18]. Available
from: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2012/10/10/business-spectator/climate-spectatorwind-power-unlocks-its-potential
9. Australia Population Map Statistics Graph Most Populated Cities Density [Internet]. [cited 2015 Oct 18].
Available from: http://www.populationlabs.com/Australia_Population.asp
2015 Jun.
11. Inspiration [Internet]. [cited 2015 Oct 19]. Available from: http://futuresparks.org.au/inspiration/allabout-energy/renewable-energy-map.aspx
12. Evershed N. The most detailed map of Australian population density ever. The Guardian [Internet].
The Guardian; [cited 2015 Oct 19]; Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/nginteractive/2014/dec/22/the-most-detailed-map-of-australian-population-density-ever
13. Hill JS. Australian Renewable Investment Plummets, As Does Electricity Consumption [Internet].