10 October 2017

SA Liberals Back Storage But Miss The Boat On Renewables

The South Australian Liberals’ energy policy is great for homeowners with solar but does little to help the rest of state access clean and cheap renewable energy.


The South Australian Liberals’ energy policy is great for homeowners with solar but does little to help the rest of state access clean and cheap renewable energy.

Energy Campaigns Director Miriam Lyons said that with battery prices plummeting, it makes  sense to support households to save and store their solar energy to deliver clean power around the clock.

“The battery plan is a small step in the right direction from the South Australian Liberals. Their opposition to renewable energy in South Australia has been disruptive and irresponsible. South Australians want Steven Marshall to stop the blame game and embrace South Australia’s renewable energy advantage.

“Support for grid-scale storage and demand management is also good, but it means little without a plan to get more suppliers of clean energy into the state. There’s no point having a garage if you don’t have a car.

“If he wants to stop greedy gas companies ripping off South Australian consumers, Steven Marshall should back their cleaner, cheaper competitors: wind, solar and storage.

“We’re yet to see a plan to ensure that every South Australian - including low-income households, renters and people in apartments - can access the benefits of clean energy and storage.”

“South Australians deserve a government that makes the most of the state’s abundant sun and wind to export clean energy to the rest of Australia - and the world.

“Jay Weatherill and Steven Marshall should go further and deliver 100% clean, affordable and reliable energy for South Australia.”

A full analysis of the South Australian Liberals’ energy policy is below. GetUp’s analysis of South Australian Liberals’ energy policy

What’s good:

  • Means-tested support for solar households to get batteries will help 40,000 households save and store their solar energy to deliver clean power around the clock.
  • Support for demand management and grid-scale storage will make it harder for gas companies to price-gouge at times of high demand.
  • A $200 million contribution towards a new interconnector between South Australia and NSW could pave the way for South Australia to be a net exporter of renewable energy - if the South Australian government adopts a higher Renewable Energy Target.
  • Passing the 5-minute settlement rule change will make it easier for batteries to bring down the cost of power. However, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is dragging its feet on this change. South Australia should push for it to be implemented in one year, not the AEMC’s planned three-year timeframe.
  • Banning exit fees charged to customers who switch retailers will help stop the big three power companies - AGL, Origin and Energy Australia - from ripping off South Australian households.

What’s bad:

  • Stephen Marshall has left South Australia’s future energy supply in the hands of a Prime Minister who can’t even implement a modest Clean Energy Target. This leaves South Australia without a back-up plan in the face of continued federal inaction, and leaves South Australian homes, businesses and investors with no idea of where their future energy supply will come from.
  • The policy has zero support for new renewables, which is a missed opportunity to back South Australia’s potential to export clean energy to the rest of Australia - and the world.
  • Reverse auctions would be a great way to get new suppliers of 24-hour clean power into the state - but the plan appears to subsidise existing gas generators instead.
  • It is ridiculous to continue supporting fracking in South Australia when solar and storage is already cheaper than gas.
  • Climate change is completely missing in action - this is completely unacceptable at a time when extreme weather is already threatening South Australian lives and livelihoods.