South Australia’s power outage 2 weeks ago has highlighted a political row between the country’s federal and state governments over renewable energy that will likely restrict action after an emergency meeting of ministers last Friday as reported by Reuters.
The meeting of state and federal energy ministers, which still has no published agenda was called after the statewide blackout. The state is a major wine producer and traditional manufacturing hub, and was left without power for nearly 24 hours after severe storms and thousands of lightning strikes.
But the Australian Energy Market Operator has reached an early conclusion and said that severe weather caused the outage, but they made no comment on whether the power outage could have been averted. State officials accused Turnbull of letting ideology drive his conclusions and comments.
The federal government wants 23.5% of Australia’s energy mix provided by renewables by the year 2020, but nearly all states have set much more ambitious renewable goals to cut carbon dioxide emissions from their electricity sectors.
Despite the federal government’s misgivings on renewables, Australian states are going ahead with more clean and renewable projects. Queensland, the country’s largest carbon emitter, has stated that they will continue with plans to transmission power generation to 50% renewables by the year 2030.
South Australia uses wind farms and rooftops solar panels for 40% of their power. Canberra also must raise its renewable energy target to meet their goal in cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 26%-28% by the year 2030 as agreed at the Paris climate accord.
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