South Australia, at lonely heights

It is often claimed that energy sources like solar and wind are cheap or even cheaper than some conventional power sources like coal, gas or nuclear. If this is really true, than one would expect that energy prices in countries with more solar and wind go down or at least being less than in countries powered by conventional sources. That doesn’t seem to be the case, on the contrary. I already looked at energy prices of Denmark and Germany a couple years ago. I then came to the conclusion that these two countries not only had by far the highest share of solar and wind, but also by far the highest consumer prices.

What about South Australia? It also has a high share of solar and wind, how does its electricity price for consumers compare to the other states within Australia?

In that post on electricity prices in Denmark and Germany, I made the comparison between electricity prices and capacity of solar and wind per capita. This week, I tried to do the same thing for Australia. Initially, I was looking for all the data (capacity and population) separately. The census data was very easy to find, contrary to the capacity data. In the end, I found this table in the State Renewable Energy report of 2019 of the Climate Council, which gave me the exact data that I was looking for:

Installed capacity of solar and wind per capita Australia 2018

I found electricity pricing data on the Canstar Blue website (h/t Chris Morris). The average prices on this site are however rather recent (from September 2020), the report on the other hand used data from 2018. No worries, the archive of the Canstar Blue webpage also had a snapshot of the average prices from November 2018:

Canstar Blue: average electricity prices 2018-11-01 from:

The South Australia consumer price is between 30% and 55% higher than that of the others.

After throwing the capacity per capita numbers and average consumer prices into Calc, I made this quick graph:

Installed capacity solar and wind per capita versus average electricity price 2018

Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales have similar capacity per capita and form a cluster of data points, while South Australia is the lonely satellite at the top right of the graph…

Four data points is very limited, so I surely will not draw a trend line in there. However, one thing is for sure. At least for the few data points that I found, not only is South Australia at lonely heights when it comes to its share of solar and wind, it is also at lonely heights when it comes to the price of consumer electricity.

3 thoughts on “South Australia, at lonely heights

  1. vuurklip

    There is absolutely NO *doubt that “renewable” energy is MUCH cheaper that fossil (ugh!) fuel generated energy!

    *But only on the spreadsheet drawn up to justify “renewable” energy.



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