Crikey! Solar takes edge off Aussie heatwaves

As temperatures shoot up in Australia reaching nearly 50°C last week, an Aussie energy group has tried to debunk myths about energy tariffs going up during heat waves. The scorching season doesn’t mean suppliers will […]

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By Taryn Nixon

As temperatures shoot up in Australia reaching nearly 50°C last week, an Aussie energy group has tried to debunk myths about energy tariffs going up during heat waves.

The scorching season doesn’t mean suppliers will run out of electricity or bump up bills, declares the fact sheet.

Australian heatwaves do lead to big surges in energy demand because 6.7 million homes now have air conditioners – up from around 2 million houses in 1990.

However with more renewable sources like solar power at Aussie homes, this has taken the edge off total demand for electricity, it says.

The record peak demand in the state of Victoria was set in January 2009, while in South Australia it was set on 31 January 2011, at 3,399 MW.

Even though more electricity was probably used last year, the Energy Supply Association of Australia which put out the fact sheet reckons solar panels kept demand below the all-time-record level of 2009.