With an energy crisis in South Australia created by an over-reliance on “untrustworthy and expensive” wind and solar, the state labour government is forced to look for greater access to more affordable coal-fire electricity from the eastern states. People are questioning if renewable energy sources are truly working according to The Australian.
This comes over the rising concern that federal renewable energy targets will force other states down the path taken by South Australia, which has the most variable and highest energy prices in the national electricity grid. South Australian Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis has put the eastern state on notice. He vows to smash the national electricity market into a thousand pieces and start all over again. He also warned other states that the energy crisis was coming to get them. He also added that it is coming to Victoria, New South Wales and every jurisdiction is facing what they are facing now.
South Australian labour’s admission that it needed urgent reform of the national market rules so that in addition to upgrading connection with Victoria it also could tap into New South Wales baseload power, reveals the weakness of its dependence on renewables. The last coal-fired power plants in South Australia closed last May.
Solar and wind power make up for more than 40% of the state’s energy mix under a green policy agenda driven by the labour Party, in power in South Australia since 2002. There were major companies that include BHP Billiton and Arrium, warned Mr Koutsantonis of possible closings and shutdowns because of high energy prices, which force them to request a temporary power spike from a private owner of an old gas-fired power plant. The private energy supplier ENGIE fired up its plant in Pelican Point near Port Adelaide for a short time. It brought an extra 239 megawatts of power into the grid.
Mr Koutsantonis also said the federal government had encouraged SA to chase the energy source as parts of the country’s renewable energy target of 24% by the year 2020.
Image credit: The Australian