South Australia’s blustery conditions this week had one positive: wind power provided more than half of the state’s power on Wednesday, according to the Clean Energy Council.

Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said data from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) showed that 55 per cent of all the electricity used by South Australians yesterday was generated by the state’s wind farms, which were spinning flat out all day long.

“In the early hours of Wednesday morning, there was a peak where 80 per cent of the state’s power came from the wind and South Australia exported some of its energy to Victoria. Then early on Monday morning a record was broken when just over 85 per cent of power came from the wind.

“According to AEMO, in the 2011-12 financial year almost a quarter of the state’s electricity was generated by wind farms. This has led to a corresponding drop in generation from coal and gas plants, with wind generating more energy than coal for the first time.

“South Australia has proven once again that wind energy can generate real power – and lots of it,” he said.

Mr Marsh said the data showed that emissions from South Australia’s power sector had fallen every year since 

2005-06 and had reduced by more than 27 per cent over the last five years.

“All this wind is putting South Australia well ahead of the curve on Australia’s 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target, and helping to provide farmers and local businesses in regional areas with extra income.

“It also means the state’s residents collectively have a lower carbon price bill, while getting fully compensated by the Federal Government under the scheme.”

Fast facts:

On Wednesday 5 September, 55 per cent of SA’s power came from wind farms

A record 85.5 per cent of power came from the wind early on Monday 3 September

24.2 per cent of the state’s power came from the wind in the 2011-12 financial year. Coal use dropped by 9 per cent over the same period

Emissions in South Australia have dropped by 27.4 per cent over the last five years.