SA government energy plans highlight absence of national strategy

Mar 14, 2017 - 1:09pm

The South Australian government’s six-point policy response to the electricity issues facing the state, announced today, highlights the need for a better national approach to energy security, affordability and decarbonisation, said The Climate Institute.

“The acute problems in our energy system demand rapid responses, but without a nationally consistent plan there’s a risk that state actions could cause more problems in later years,” said Olivia Kember, Head of Policy at The Climate Institute.

“Given the decades-long failure for national energy bodies to cope with the changes underway in the electricity market, it’s understandable that SA is stepping into the vacuum to solve its immediate problems, but it’s not the best way to run an energy system.

“These triage responses to energy crises will keep occurring until we develop a nationally consistent, long-term strategy for our energy system that addresses energy security, affordability and the need to reach net zero emissions before 2050.”

The SA government has announced it will fund 100 MWh of battery storage, build a new state-owned 250 MW gas-fired generator, establish 200 MW of “temporary” generation, give the Minister more power to direct generators and the market operator “as a last resort”, and require new generators to demonstrate how they contribute to system security.

“It’s encouraging that the SA government is supporting a range of technologies to deliver reliable and cleaner power,” Ms Kember said.

“That said, South Australia’s actions forestall the recommendations of the independent Finkel Review into energy security. Ensuring that these state-specific rules don’t create distortions for the national electricity market as it evolves will be very important.”


For more information: Brinsley Marlay ● Media Manager ● 0422 140 555 or 02 8239 6299
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