The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has welcomed the South Australian Government’s embracing a clean energy future in its energy plan released yesterday.
Dean Lombard, the ATA’s senior energy analyst, said the proposed Renewable Technology Fund, which will support building Australia’s largest battery, was a positive move and a highlight of the plan.
“New dispatchable renewable generation will be fundamental to the future grid, and large-scale battery storage will be an integral part – the perfect complement to the diverse generation mix that South Australia already has, and that the rest of the electricity market is heading towards,” Mr Lombard said.
He said the energy plan, which includes new powers for the SA Government to intervene in the market when required, was a strong and considered response to the way the shortcomings of the national energy market had affected South Australia.
“Current market mechanisms are not consistently ensuring that South Australian energy users’ needs are being met,” Mr Lombard said.
When announcing the plan, which includes a new gas-fired power plant, the SA Government also acknowledged the need for a price on carbon as part of the transition to a lower emission energy system.
“While new renewable generation – such as a solar thermal plant – would have been more aligned with the long-term objectives, a gas-fired plant is a pragmatic short-term measure given South Australia’s immediate needs,” Mr Lombard said.
“It should be followed by dispatchable renewables, assisted by the new Renewable Technology Fund, displacing the state’s older gas-fired generators.”
The ATA is Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and water saving.