South Australia to hold Parliamentary Enquiry into Solar Thermal Energy for Port Augusta
Solar Thermal Energy Parliamentary Enquiry For South Australia http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3430 by Energy Matters The efforts by supporters of the construction of a solar thermal power station in Port Augusta, South Australia have paid off.
SA Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said a select committee will research a proposal to replace Alinta Energy’s Northern and Playford coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta with a concentrated solar thermal plant.
“This Government agreed to establish this inquiry because we support the greater use of renewable technologies such as solar power to generate electricity,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“We have set an ambitious target to make renewable technology the source of 33% of our energy generation by 2020. Already, if South Australia was a country we would be second in the world when it comes to generating power through renewable technology.”
Mr. Koutsantonis also used the opportunity to point out the Opposition’s continued resistance to renewables in the state, saying Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond had dismissed wind power as being inefficient when in fact it had driven down the price of wholesale electricity.
Deputy Opposition Leader Mitch Williams had also branded home solar power systems and wind farms as ‘harebrained schemes’, said the Minister.
“They don’t believe in the need to reduce carbon emissions to address climate change and they certainly don’t believe in a future that involves embracing renewable energy.”
In another recent renewables victory for South Australia, changes to wind farm rules announced yesterday will set a minimum setback distance of 1km between houses and turbines and a 2km distance from townships. Third party appeals can be triggered when turbines are within 2km of houses.
The changes “strike the right balance between making sure the community’s concerns are heard and supporting this important industry”, said a statement from the Clean Energy Council.
“South Australia should be proud that it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 27 per cent over the last five years, while generating approximately $1.8 billion worth of investment for local communities and 840 new jobs, thanks to wind power.”
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