SA government electrifies with new power plan

16 March, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • GAS GABFEST Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg meet with chief executives of the biggest gas companies in Australia to discuss the future of gas supply and electricity reliability

"As a state that has built its reputation on its clean green environment, this plan recognises that clean energy is our future".

On-grid battery system delivered by Carnegie's Energy Made Clean subsidiary for the Western Australian state government-owned energy utility Synergy.

The state will explore next-generation renewable storage technology. Blackouts in the region caused a vicious nation-wide debate about what had caused the power cuts past year, with the matter still unsettled in some quarters.

The minister said the plan would also create about 650 jobs, although it stopped short of guaranteeing the new gas plant would be up and running by next summer.

For the overall storage push, the Renewable Technology Fund will provide AU$75 million in grants and AU$75 million in loans for a range of eligible storage projects, including solar thermal, biomass, hydrogen energy and pumped hydro.

Also not pleased is Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg. It will therefore tender the remaining 25% of its electricity load to technologies that support dispatchable renewable technologies, with new contracts to commence on 1 January 2018.

Australia's "worst fears are being realised" when it comes to gas supply, and New Zealand is unlikely to be able to help out with the latest power crisis across the Tasman.

"South Australian business and residents can not afford a repeat of the energy issues experienced over the past eight months", it said. No more detail was given on how this temporary power would be sourced.

Australian manufacturers who rely on gas say there is no guarantee the Government's plan to shore up supply will make the fuel more affordable.

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Mr Weatherill said he would examine the offer.

Two of Australia's Gladstone-based LNG operators "gave a commitment to being net domestic gas contributors" during a meeting with the federal government Wednesday, according to a statement on the Prime Minister's website.

The private sector will own, operate and maintain the battery which will be connected to the South Australian power grid and help store renewable energy from the wind and the sun, provide the storage capacity needed at times of peak demand.

The aim is also to create more self-sufficiency using local resources, while reducing dependence on coal from Victoria.

Introduce an Energy Security Target to ensure greater use of clean, secure energy generated in South Australia.

"If the price stays where it is at the moment, this could tip this country over the edge in terms of a massive recession because there will be so many businesses that will have to close their doors".

South Australia, which has already suffered blackouts in the third quarter of 2016, jumped the gun on today's meeting by announcing a controversial, go it alone $550 million plan that threatened to put the state's energy needs ahead of the national interest, in contravention of the National Electricity Market agreement established 20 years ago.

In its response to the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (NEM) released earlier this month, BHP Billiton remained critical of the NEM and reiterated the damage an unstable supply has caused to its Olympic Dam operation.

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