AES 2018 summary: bringing cheaper energy to South AustraliaPosted on October 18th, 2018 in News
At the 2018 Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition, the Honourable Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP spoke to our guests about the Marshall Liberal Government’s plans for energy in South Australia.
Van Holst Pellekaan talked of the ‘trilemma’ approach to improving the energy network in the state, with a focus on price, renewables and reliability.
The price or affordability of power is a huge concern to the people and businesses of South Australia and this is an area he was keen to speak about.
In his address, van Holst Pellekaan detailed the government’s ambitious plan to be the best in the world in terms of clean energy, which would lead to lower bills for consumers. One area where this is evident is in the Tesla partnership that’s building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to South Australia.
Improvements in storage like this project, as well as improved interconnection with other states and an increase in renewable energy creation in the state, will lead to clean, reliable and affordable energy for all.
Van Holst Pellekaan said, “The transition is under way and the transition will continue under a Marshall Liberal Government. It is being driven by the fundamental economics of clean energy as the lowest cost new build source of generation. South Australia will lead and show the world how a sensible transition to clean energy can be done.”
Another aspect of this project is to provide solar panels and batteries for home use. Currently, around a third of homes in South Australia have personal solar panels and the government is funding the installation of home energy systems on more than 1000 homes in South Australia in the next year. If successful, this trial will be extended to 50,000 homes, on top of a previous promise to kit out 40,000 homes in the area.
This increase in solar panels and batteries means cheaper electricity for a large number of households in the state, especially with funding help the initial installation.
Impact on businesses
South Australia’s energy situation has been the focus of national press recently, but not for the right reasons. With energy dropouts making waves across Australia, the biggest impact has been on businesses in SA.
A mix of a disrupted supply coupled with high energy prices has had a major effect on businesses, with some forced into laying off staff or stopping business completely. Bringing a more affordable price for electricity through new renewable projects will help the state’s business sector incredibly.
Van Holst Pellekaan said, “For a state with an industrial and manufacturing focus, high energy prices are very damaging in many ways. Our largest employers are also our largest electricity consumers in South Australia, so it’s no wonder that for several years we’ve been grappling with high unemployment and high electricity prices.”
If true, these claims will help lower costs of energy in South Australia for personal households and the biggest businesses, giving a financial boost all round. The plans also have the side effect of increased reliability and a lower carbon footprint and, if successful, will see the state’s plans act as a blueprint for the rest of the country and nations overseas.