South Australians expect their homes, public facilities and businesses to have reliable power that operates whenever it is needed.
We need the power network to be robust enough to cope with all types of weather and to cope with predictable technical problems.
The tornadoes that ripped through South Australia in September 2016 brought down several high voltage transmission lines and blacked out the entire State for several hours.
Predictably, vested fossil fuel interests and their political backers were quick to blame renewable energy for the blackout. They are scared of what new renewable energy technology will mean for their profits which is why they are so desperate to falsely blame wind and solar for just about every problem in the electricity system. But they are being proved wrong. Adding storage to wind and solar generation is a game-changer that allows intermittent renewable power sources to deliver energy around the clock, whenever it is needed. This is the future and it’s happening now. No wonder the fossil fuel industry is running scared.
Whilst the Liberals pine for the good old days of coal (and many don’t even believe in climate change), even the Labor Government has policies that promote increased fossil fuel use, especially gas. Continuing to rely on gas to produce electricity is expensive, unnecessary and is blocking our path to a 100% renewable energy future. With new renewable energy already cheaper than fossil fuels, the Government’s proposed new gas power stations are going to become white elephants long before the end of their useful lives.
The community and energy experts know that our future is in renewables. With investment in new generation and in battery, solar thermal and pumped hydro storage, South Australia can be powered by 100% renewable energy and can help power the rest of the nation too.
The Greens stand with the community for a clean energy future and will:
- Promote grid-connected battery storage to provide both energy services and also rapid frequency control to help stabilise the grid;
- Promote domestic and business battery storage to help manage and reduce peaks in demand from the grid;
- Accelerate construction of “pumped hydro” plants as a means of storing energy which can be dispatched quickly at times when other generators can’t meet the demand;
- Commission a solar thermal (with storage) generation plant at Port Augusta to replace the old coal-fired power stations which have closed and been demolished;
- Abandon the idea of a new state-owned gas-fired power station.
- Reject new State Government “Energy Security” Regulations that unfairly and unnecessarily discriminate against renewable energy;
- End direct and indirect subsidies to fossil fuel generators, where alternative technologies can achieve the same results in keeping the electricity network stable and secure;
- Redirect taxpayers’ money away from new gas exploration projects and invest in establishment of renewable energy and storage instead;
- Negotiate commercial demand management contracts with big electricity users to avoid the need for involuntary load-shedding in the general community;
- Accelerate the undergrounding of power lines in key locations that are at risk of storm or bushfire damage.
- Upgrade the out-dated transmission network on Eyre Peninsula which is vulnerable to outages and proving to be a barrier to new generation, especially new wind farms;
- Investigate the costs and benefits of additional interconnection between SA and other states to determine whether such a facility would benefit South Australia in the medium to long term. Possible benefits would include exporting surplus renewable energy as well as providing a level of protection from local outages.