South Australia is taking charge of its energy future
16 March 2017
South Australian Power for South Australians will ensure more of the State’s power is sourced, generated and controlled in South Australia.
The $550 million plan will increase security, boost competition and put downward pressure on prices.
The South Australian Government is:
Building Australia’s largest battery to store energy from the wind and sun, part of a new Renewable Technology Fund that supports clean, dispatchable and affordable power
Building a government-owned 250MW gas-fired power plant to provide emergency back-up power and system stability services for South Australians, in the meantime procuring temporary back-up generation if necessary
Introducing new Ministerial powers to direct the market to operate in the interests of South Australians
Incentivising increased gas production to ensure more of our State’s gas is sourced and used in South Australia
Introducing an Energy Security Target to ensure our power system uses more clean, secure energy generated in South Australia
Using the Government’s purchasing power through its own electricity contract to attract a new power generator, increasing competition in the market
The new gas-fired power plant is budgeted to cost $360 million, $150 million will be committed to the SA Renewable Technology Fund and new PACE grants are worth $24 million.
The plan is expected to create at least 630 new jobs.
South Australians lost control of the State’s energy system when ETSA was privatised by the previous Liberal Government, handing control to a private market.
In recent years, there’s been a lack of national leadership on energy policy, particularly over the question of a price on carbon. This uncertainty has led to a lack of investment in new electricity generation while unviable coal-fired power stations have been closing across the country.
This has left the remaining small number of power companies with extraordinary control over the market, pursuing profits at the expense of reliable, affordable power.
The State Government has advocated for a national Emissions Intensity Scheme to drive investment in cleaner energy sources, such as gas and renewables. An EIS is supported by businesses, industry groups and energy experts but not Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, despite previously supporting the policy.
Amid the policy paralysis and investment strike, South Australians have been let down by a broken National Electricity Market.
The price of electricity has been unacceptably high and prices are at unsustainable levels across the country.
Reliability has also become an increasing concern. Most of South Australia’s recent blackouts - including the state-wide blackout on September 28 last year and the post-Christmas outage - have been caused by violent storms damaging infrastructure.
However, in December, South Australian homes lost power because of a fault on the Victorian side of the border. A subsequent load shedding event on February 8 was entirely avoidable. Faced with a choice of switching off power to South Australian homes or turning on a generator, the energy operator switched off power to homes.
This event left South Australia with no choice but to intervene assertively and take charge of our energy future.
Forecasts from the Australian Energy Market Operator suggest energy reliability will deteriorate in coming years and load shedding will become more common without investment in new generation. Prices are also expected to continue to rise as demand outstrips supply.
If nothing is done, South Australians face more frequent power outages and even higher prices.
Visit ourenergyplan.sa.gov.au for more information.
Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill
We’re taking charge of our energy future with a plan that will deliver South Australian power for South Australians.
South Australians have been let down by a broken national energy market that puts profits before people.
We’re going to put people first.
Our plan will restore security and put downward pressure on prices.
We’ll get reliable, affordable and clean power and ensure more of the State’s power is sourced, generated and controlled here in South Australia.
Our State has built its reputation on clean, green environment and this plan recognises that clean energy is our future.
South Australia will now lead our nation’s transformation to the next generation of renewable storage technologies and create an international reputation for high-tech industries.
Quotes attributable to Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis
This is a plan that puts control of our energy system back in South Australian hands.
The first investment in generation since the privatisation of ETSA will give South Australians greater control over their own energy security.
For too long, South Australian households and businesses have been at the mercy of private companies seeking to maximise their profits and a national operator that manages our grid from Melbourne and Sydney.
So far this year, we have seen frequent price spikes and supply shortfalls across the nation, but the Federal Government has refused to act.
We can’t rely on this broken national market any longer. Our plan will deliver increased local generation and powers to help prevent outages and more competition to put downward pressure on power prices for families and businesses.
Source: South Australian Government - www.premier.sa.gov.au
External Links: ourenergyplan.sa.gov.au
Recent news by: South Australian Government