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South Australia breaking further windy records

South Australia, which only recently broke records for wind power, has done it again with its renewable resources.

After some high winds in mid-August, the state got just under half of its power from wind farms across a week-long period.

Now, South Australia has another accolade to add to its wind power credentials, breaking its wind power record for the whole of August with wind farms providing 38 per cent of the state's power throughout the entire month.

August's rate of 38 per cent wind power blew the previous best monthly record out of the water - the last highest recorded rate was 31.2 per cent.

Russel Marsh, Clean Energy Council (CEC) policy director, commented that the month of August broke records for wind power nationwide, not only in South Australia but in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales as well. This wind power combined would be enough power for 155,000 households for a year.

"This adds to results published by the Australian Energy Market Operator last week which showed that more than a quarter of South Australia's power came from wind power over the last financial year," said Mr Marsh.

According to the Climate Institute, South Australia traditionally has relied on gas and coal for its electricity supply. Yet South Australia has world-class renewable energy resources such as plentiful sun and wind and so its share of clean energy sources is growing - in fact approximately half of Australia's wind power capacity is from South Australia.

Encouragingly, in terms of wind electricity generation as a proportion of total generation, as well as per person, are now similar to Denmark which happens to be the world's leading wind power nation. This shows that South Australia and Australia as a whole has great potential to be a leading nation when it comes to wind energy and keeping electricity prices at bay.

Illustrating South Australia's wind energy rather creatively, the CEC has said that "Australia's wind farms generated 1024 gigawatt-hours in August, enough to make more than six billion (6,144,000,000) toasted sandwiches using an average sandwich press – almost enough for each person on Earth."

According to the Climate Institute, the next challenge is making sure that the grid has the ability to accommodate this new renewable capacity.

"Around the world countries are dealing with common challenges in transmission, storage and local demand management to integrate renewable electricity sources effectively into their grids," it said in its report, 'The Critical Decade:  Generating a renewable Australia - South Australia'.

Posted by Charlie Moore