AES 2018 conference

AES 2018 summary: reliable, affordable and clean energy for South Australia

Posted on October 18th, 2018 in Media Releases

Attendees of 2018’s Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition were let in on the government’s upcoming energy plans for South Australia.

MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan, SA Minister for Energy and Mining, detailed his government’s goals for the state, with a focus on providing cleaner, more reliable and more affordable energy.

More reliable energy

South Australia’s energy sector was in the news for all the wrong reasons with a state-wide blackout. That image is something that van Holst Pellekaan wants to quickly improve, and his plan involves two main factors: storage and interconnection.

In terms of batteries, the Liberal government has pledged $100m of funding for home batteries and a whole raft of other technologies such as hydrogen storage, thermal storage, pumped hydro and more.

As for interconnection, South Australia is currently only linked with Victoria which while beneficial also has its drawbacks. Interconnection with New South Wales will see many advantages for both states, including longer hours of energy production and a more reliable source of energy.

Van Holst Pellekaan said, “Our state’s high price and generation volatility, and very unfortunately a state-wide blackout, have meant that we now have the world’s attention, but not necessarily for all the right reasons. But with your sector, we will now change that, and we’ll make it for the right reasons.”

Read more about South Australia’s plans for more reliable energy.

More clean energy

Van Holst Pellekaan was adamant that increasing the renewable energy creation in South Australia was not a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when’. He outlined many large-scale plans that have recently been completed, are under construction or are being planned for South Australia.

He said, “It’s not a choice of whether to increase clean energy but how to do it, and without punishing consumers along the way. I’m glad to confirm that there is continued strong interest in investment by the private sector in South Australia.”

“There are many more significant projects under development, providing more than 5,700MW of renewable capacity. I expect the proportion of clean energy to continue to rise.”

More affordable energy

In news that will be welcome to all in South Australia, van Holst Pellekaan vowed to bring cheaper electricity to the state, both for residential and commercial properties.

By investing in solar panels and batteries for homes, large-scale renewable energy plants and ground-breaking technology such as the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery, South Australia was planning for a future of cheap energy.

Not only does this lower bills for all concerned, but it also has the knock-on effect of making businesses in South Australia more competitive, which means that employment figures were likely to grow.

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.”

Van Holst Pellekaan referred to the three issues he has identified as a ‘trilemma’ that has to be solved and it’s not something he’s backing away from. By setting goals for each area, South Australia will continue to set the pace as the leader in Australia’s clean energy and energy storage industries.

He said, “We will focus on all three limbs of the trilemma at once, and not setting targets in pursuit of political agendas, but on actually delivering cleaner, more affordable, more reliable energy for our state, making our state proud to be a national and a global leader in this space.”