South Australia is well-placed to become Australia’s first renewable superpower by exporting clean energy to the rest of the nation and the world according to the new Solar Citizens report Repowering South Australia.
As other states move to catch up with South Australia’s renewable energy leadership, the report argues South Australia cannot afford to rest on its laurels and the next state government should set a 100% renewable energy target by 2025 and plan to export a further 50% of South Australia’s energy needs to the nation and the world through technologies like renewable hydrogen.
“South Australia is leading Australia in wind and solar uptake and is now embracing new storage technologies. South Australia now has a huge opportunity to capitalise on a new investment wave in renewable and storage technologies which mean cheaper prices, more jobs and clean power” report author and Founding Director of the Community Power Agency, Nicky Ison said.
As well as raising South Australia’s renewable energy target, the report highlights opportunities to ensure the benefits of investing in renewable energy is shared across the community, including:
- Establishing renewable energy industry precincts to co-locate energy intensive industry with renewable energy hotspots to provide cheap energy and sources of renewable heat;
- Establishing regional community energy hubs to increase community benefit from and access to of renewable projects;
- Collaboratively designing a well funded Indigenous Communities Clean Power Program; and
- Establishing a publicly owned non-profit retailer to secure cheaper clean power for South Australians on low-incomes.
“Renewable energy has the potential to dramatically reduce costs for industry, put energy back into the hands of the community through community ownership and help South Australians who struggle to pay their power bills”.
“Examples like Sundrop Farms in Port Augusta which uses solar thermal for desalination as well as electricity demonstrate that renewable energy doesn’t just provide cheap power. Co-locating industry with renewable energy precincts could reduce industry’s reliance on expensive gas for heat at the same time as providing cheap sources of power,” Ison said.
Solar Citizens wants to see the report’s recommendations adopted by politicians of all sides ahead of the March state election.
“Everyone knows energy is going to be a top issue this election. What we don’t know is whether our state leaders are going to commit to backing strong investment in renewables to create cheaper power for South Australians,” Dan Spencer campaigner with Solar Citizens said.
“We’re urging all politicians to commit to powering South Australia with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and backing policies that will see everyone share in the benefits of cheaper renewable power. These policies are long overdue for South Australians who have been ripped off by big power companies for too long,” Mr Spencer said.
Source: Solar Citizens media release.
To read the full report click here.