Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian govt releases new plan for reliable, affordable and clean power.

South Australia’s new energy plan released A $550 million energy plan unveiled by the South Australian government will aim to improve the reliability of statewide power.Premier Jay Weatherill released details of the plan on Tuesday, March 14, saying the goal was delivering “reliable, affordable and clean” power.

The state government expects the plan to create 630 new jobs in South Australia. South Australian Power for South Australians will ensure more of the State’s power is sourced, generated and controlled in South Australia.

The plan will include:

  • 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 marketThe 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.

    Commenting on the plan, Mr Weatherill said coal-fired power stations closing across Australia, no “coherent” national energy policy and “ideological attacks on renewable energy” had led to under-investment in new energy sources.

    “The privatisation of our state’s energy assets has placed an enormous amount of power in the hands of a few energy companies,” he said. “These factors, together, have led to too little competition in our national energy market. It is a market that benefits the owners of the privatised assets, rather than the people and businesses who depend on this essential service.” He said the plan’s goal is to make the state more self-reliant. “Our plan will make our power supply more reliable, put downward pressure on prices and create jobs,”

    “In the longer term, South Australia will become more self-reliant for its power supply. “As a state that has built its reputation on its clean green environment, this plan recognises that clean energy is our future.”

    The South Australian Liberal party has not responded to the plan yet.

    Visit the SA energy plan website for more details.

    Victor Harbor Times


March 15, 2017 - Posted by | energy, politics, South Australia


  1. The Editor
    The Advertiser

    In the last six months every blackout in SA, rolling or otherwise, has involved failure in the grid connected centralised power generation system.

    In September 2016 it was the failure of SA high voltage power lines followed by shutting down of SA wind farms and the Victorian interconnector, and the unavailability of a Pelican Point thermal power station.

    In December 2016 it was the failure of Victorian high voltage power lines and the unavailability of a Pelican Point thermal power station.

    In February 2017 it was the unavailability of wind farms and a Pelican Point power station.

    In March 2017 it was the failure of Torrens Island thermal power stations, resulting in the disconnection of a Pelican Point thermal power station. These failures overloaded the Victorian interconnector which came very close to shutting down, in which case there would have been another SA-wide blackout.

    Resilience comes from diversity. This means having less grid connected centralised, large-scale, generation and storage and more distributed, smaller scale, alternatives.

    Dennis Matthews

    Comment by Dennis Matthews | March 15, 2017 | Reply

  2. The Editor
    The Advertiser

    Congratulations to AGL and other forward-looking solar energy companies in SA.

    It’s a credit to South Australians that they are taking risks and leading the way whilst others appear stuck in the 20th century.

    Distributed energy systems such as AGL’s virtual power plant, which combines electricity generating solar panels with battery storage and synchronised output that can provide grid stabilisation, is capable of demonstrating that rooftop solar+battery systems can make a significant strategic contribution to reliable, environmentally friendly energy services.

    For widespread uptake of rooftop solar+battery systems there is still one major hurdle, up-front costs to consumers. There are no such upfront consumer costs for large scale systems such as thermal power stations. This places small scale distributed systems at a competitive disadvantage. This need not be the case.

    Once this impediment is overcome then systems such as that being developed by AGL will become the norm, including on rental and public housing.

    Dennis Matthews

    Comment by Dennis Matthews | March 16, 2017 | Reply

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