According to a report by the infrastructure consulting Pitt & Sherry, electricity supplied by coal-fired generators in the Australian National Electricity Market has fallen nearly 16% in just over two years, from the year ending December 2010 to the year ending February 2013, dropping below 75% for the first time in Australian history..
The fall is due to both decreasing overall demand and an increasing contribution of renewables and gas.
The contribution of renewables, including hydro and wind, to the grid has increased to 12.5% and gas has increased to 12.7%.
The key summer peaks for electricity demand have fallen for each of the past four years in Victoria, the past three in Queensland and the past two years in both New South Wales and South Australia.
Pitt & Sherry estimate that only a quarter of the decreased demand on the grid is due to the increase in solar power installations. The remainder is due to price increases and, mainly, increased energy efficiency.