Innovation Business Forum | South Australia’s energy mix has undergone considerable change over the past 15 years

    SA, Business Forum 2017  | 

    From the early 2000’s, when gas and coal dominated the source of generation, through to today, where more than 40 per cent of our supply is from renewables, we have led the nation in capitalising on the opportunities that come with decarbonisation of the state’s economy.

    Our renewable energy output is comprised of wind (82%), rooftop PV solar (18%).

    In 2015-16 electricity in South Australia was generated from natural gas (36%), wind (35%), coal (21%) and rooftop photovoltaics systems (7.5%). There is now no coal fired generation in South Australia after the last plant at Port Augusta was closed by its private sector owners in May 2016.

    South Australia is globally-recognised for our world-first climate change legislation, introduced in 2007. And we have an ambitious target for our State to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050, along with a target of $AU10 billion in investment in low carbon generation by 2025 – of which we have achieved more than $7 billion.

    We have been able to attract this significant investment because we have the best wind and solar resources in Australia and because we welcome investment that creates jobs. Our French Engagement Strategy – established following the announcement of DCNS as the partner for Australia’s $50 billion Future Submarine Program – offers the perfect platform for French companies to invest in the next stage of South Australia’s Energy Transition.

    The South Australian Government has a comprehensive plan to deliver reliable, affordable and clean power for South Australians. The $550 million plan will ensure more of the State’s power is sourced, generated and controlled in South Australia, while increasing security, boosting competition and putting downward pressure on prices.

    The South Australian Government is:

    • Building Australia’s largest battery

    • Creating a $150 million Renewable Technology Fund

    • Building a government-owned 250MW gas-fired power plant

    to provide emergency back-up power and system stability

    • Introducing new Ministerial powers to direct the market to

    operate in the interests of South Australians

    • Incentivising increased gas production

    • Introducing an Energy Security Target

    • Using the Government’s purchasing power to increase competition in the market.

    Alongside the energy security this plan will deliver, South Australia is well placed to capture much of the economic spinoffs to arise from further renewable energy development, given the interest shown by proponents to develop projects in our State.

    We will continue to support such developments, and are using our renewable technology fund, Energy Security Target and the procurement of the Government’s own electricity load to incentivise innovation in renewable energy technology and storage.

    Areas being examined by the private sector for investment include large-scale renewable generation systems coupled with battery storage, industrial-scale rooftop solar, other forms of storage such as thermal, behind-the-meter battery storage and pumped hydro, and production of ‘green’ hydrogen via electrolysis of water using renewable electricity.

    Clearly, we have made excellent progress on first-generation renewable energy technologies such as wind power and rooftop solar. The challenge we now face is how we support emerging generation technologies, and find the right balance to support a low emissions future, grid stability and affordability to consumers.

    Ultimately, the French Engagement Strategy will have hugely positive economic, social and cultural outcomes for South Australia. The State has a unique opportunity to develop deep ties with France by increasing opportunities arising from the Future Submarine Program; France also has the opportunity to benefit from these strengthened ties.

    This is an ideal time to be tapping in to the significant opportunities that exist for French companies to assist South Australia in continuing to lead in the area of renewable and emerging energy technologies.

    We look forward to partnering with French industry leaders to explore how different technologies can assist with securing our State’s energy needs.

    Find out more, visit our Business Forum website

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