Energy Minister Said SA Blackout not Caused by Renewables

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
October 7, 2016

The Guardian reported on early inquiries about the South Australia power outage found it was not caused by the state’s dependency on renewable energy as stated by energy minister Josh Frydenberg. Such inquiries have called for a real debate about the issue.

Extreme weather in South Australia has included widespread flooding and a severe storm last week damaged 23 power pylons which caused the electricity knock down in the state.

In the immediate power outage, a number of politicians, news agencies and commentators sought to connect it with the state’s 41% dependence on renewable energy despite any lack of evidence to suggest the connection. Frydenberg said preliminary advice told him the high percentage of renewable energy levels was not the catalyst for the blackout.

However, Frydenberg said a full investigation into exactly what happened was needed and it would be the primary subject for discussions at a Council of Australian Governments meeting. He also added that a real debate was needed, specifically about the intermittent supply of wind and solar power and how it impacts the stability and price of electricity.

Government officials admitted to a senate inquiry that there had been no modeling to know if current policies could achieve the emissions reduction targets Australia agreed on in Paris in 2015 of lowering emissions to between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

Frydenberg said the federal government was confident that it would reach its 23.5% renewable target by the year 2020, through policies already in place and those still in the development stage. The current mix is running at 15%. He also said that reducing emissions is very important, but for the states, the Labor party and the Greens, they seem to put that ahead of energy security. Energy security is their primary responsibility and concern. He said that the states have adopted their targets without understanding the possible impact for energy security.

Click here to read the full story on The Guardian

Featured Image Credit: The Guardian

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