The consequences of South Australia’s election result last Saturday will be felt far beyond the state’s borders.
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.
The South Australian government is expected to announce the winner, or winners, of its 100MW battery storage tender in the next week, and will need to do if it is to have the equipment installed by the coming summer as planned.
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has long predicted the imminent end of the fossil fuel era. But it took a couple of tweets between him and another billionaire, Australia’s Mike Cannon-Brookes, on Friday to highlight just how close this is.
It’s a sign of lazy journalism and it is rampant. Almost all mainstream media – Fairfax, the ABC and of course the Murdoch empire – routinely blame South Australia’s high electricity prices on renewable energy. They hardly ever question the role of the gas generators. They should.
AGL Energy has announced plans to develop what it describes as ‘the world’s largest battery storage ‘virtual power plant’ in South Australia, in a foretaste of what many expect to be the energy system of the future.
South Australia is about to go coal-free, and by the end of the year it will be supplying half of its energy needs from wind and solar. Depending on what you think of renewable energy, this is either another big step into the future, or the beginning of the end of the world as we know it.
South Australia is rapidly emerging as the leading state in battery storage, with the Labor government announcing a $1.1 million tender to install battery storage in several key government buildings, including parliament house and its flagship arts buildings in the North Terrace precinct.