July 25, 2018 Read More →

South Australia electric sector on track to hit 75% renewables by 2025

The Guardian:

South Australia’s energy minister says the state is on track to have 75% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 – the target set by the former Labor premier Jay Weatherill and once rejected by his Liberal government.

The Liberal party was highly critical of Weatherill’s target when it was announced during this year’s South Australian election campaign, with the then state opposition leader, Steven Marshall, pledging to scrap it and the federal energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, likening the then premier to a clean energy addicted gambler “doubling down to chase his losses”. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had earlier described Weatherill’s renewable energy policy as “ideology and idiocy in equal measure”.

But several expert analyses have found the state is likely to meet or nearly meet the aspirational target, which was not tied to a policy mechanism. The Australian Energy Market Operator has projected South Australia would have 73% renewable power by 2020/21 while consultants Green Energy Markets found it could reach 74% by 2025 without any additional policies being introduced.

The South Australian energy and mining minister, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said that was also his understanding. “That’s what the reports I’ve read are saying,” he said. “We need to harness it properly so consumers aren’t paying too high a price along the way.”

Speaking in his electorate office in Port Augusta, home to the state’s coal power until the last plant closed in 2016, and now with up to 13 clean energy at varying stages of development including the solar thermal project, van Holst Pellekaan said the shift from coal to more clean energy in South Australia had been messier than it needed to be, but was inevitable. “We must transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. And we need to do it sensibly.”

More: South Australia on track to meet 75% renewables target Liberals promised to scrap

Comments are closed.