A:

Wind is an incredibly reliable energy source.

At times of peak performance – like when wind energy reached 146% of South Australia’s demand in 2022 – excess energy can be sent elsewhere via the grid or stored in batteries for future use. The reverse is true, too. When performance drops, electricity can be imported from the national grid or discharged from a battery.

With gas, losing one generator can mean losing half its output. Wind farms can handle breakdowns better because they have many small generators that are unlikely to all go offline at once. Drops in wind generation can be predicted, unlike coal and gas plants that are prone to sudden shutdowns and provide zero warning to grid operators.

From 28 January 2023 to 20 January 2024, wind provided 15% of Australia’s electricity and this will only grow as more wind farms are built.