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The roll-out of large-scale solar power in Queensland – and the continuing rapid uptake of rooftop solar by homes and businesses – is starting to have an impact on electricity prices in the state, even sending them into negative territory in the middle of the day.
Just one day out from the South Australia state poll, the result is in the balance, and so too is the fate of South Australia’s status as a world leader in renewable energy. It’s an outcome that could have a huge bearing on the pace of the energy transition for the whole of the country.
Just hours after giving a lecture in parliament about the Coalition’s belief and commitment to free markets, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the biggest federal government purchase in living memory – the $6.2 billion buyout of Snowy Hydro.
It’s almost impossible to imagine in a country with such an attachment to individual car ownership, petrol vehicles and long distances like Australia. But in little more than a decade, the way we travel in cars may be completely different.
The brain cells are working overtime at the headquarters of network owners, grid operators, generators, and regulators. Australia’s electricity grid is about to make the leap from analogue to digital, and everyone is scrambling to keep up.
The South Australia Labor government has unveiled plans to build a 250MW ‘virtual power plant’, linking household rooftop solar and battery storage, in what it says will be the world’s biggest.
You would have missed it, if you were relying on mainstream media, but Labor leader Bill Shorten did actually mention clean energy and climate policies in his scene-setting speech for 2018, which may well turn out to be an election year.
The Tesla big battery – the world’s largest lithium-ion battery installation – has only been in operation for three weeks, but already it has highlighted just how unprepared the National Electricity Market, and its rules and regulations, are for this new technology.
There are no prizes for predicting that there will be more batteries in Australia’s electricity grid next year: the trick is predicting how much.
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has chosen to close the year in much the same way as he started it on climate and energy policy: awaiting yet another review, and parroting the ever more absurd claims of the fossil fuel lobby and the right wing of his Coalition government on energy.