CEC champions renewables in South Australia power price battle

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said recent reporting of the energy situation in South Australia and the misunderstanding of many commentators demonstrated the complexity of the matter, and the “broad range of vested interests involved”. Credit: twitter. Kane Thornton

In the wake of fierce clashes over the alleged cause of electricity prices peaking in South Australia, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has called for a national summit on energy market reform to set the record straight.

Since the federal election, conservative and power industry bodies have renewed attacks on Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). They have use the debacle surrounding South Australian power prices as their main case study, arguing that renewables such as wind and solar have caused the rate hikes.

However CEC and other solar advocates duly noted that the rate hikes were in fact caused by an interconnector being down for maintenance and unseasonably cold weather leading to households cranking up their heating and as well as a massive spike in gas prices.

CEC has now asked for a summit to enact a “mature conversation about practical reforms to support the continued transition to clean energy in the state”.

CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said recent reporting of the energy situation in South Australia and the misunderstanding of many commentators demonstrated the complexity of the matter, and the “broad range of vested interests involved”.

He added: “We are calling for major stakeholders, industry and government representatives to come together and lay the groundwork for sensible and considered changes in the energy market that will serve power users better.

“It is unfortunate that the complexity of this issue has resulted in some commentators settling on renewable energy as the root cause of all the challenges in South Australia. This is simply untrue.”

A newly published CEC report ‘The rise of Renewables in South Australia: Current state of play’ also found that wind power output correlates with lower wholesale power prices in South Australia as well as there being a strong correlation between the price of gas and electricity prices.

Thornton said: “At some points last week gas prices were four times their usual rate, and this coincided with very high power prices.”

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has also confirmed that the state’s power reliability remains strong and recent issues were only down to the interconnector maintenance.

Thornton added: “As the transformation of the South Australian energy system continues, a range of clear market and system solutions need to be carefully considered to both reduce the reliance on gas-fired generation and drive greater diversity and competition in the market.”

He called for a collaborative effort in the transition to a zero-emissions system and he also expressed optimism over the appointment of Josh Frydenburg as the energy and environment minister.

Read Next

April 12, 2021
Scientists in Australia have used human hair clippings from a Brisbane barbershop to create an ‘armour’ that increases the power conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells.
March 30, 2021
Australian utility AGL Energy has proposed a structural separation of the company that would involve the creation of two separate businesses: one focused on energy retailing and the other on large-scale electricity supply.
March 25, 2021
Millions of Australian households fitted with rooftop PV could be charged for exporting electricity to the grid under new proposals that critics have warned could curb the uptake of solar systems and slow the country’s energy transition.
March 15, 2021
Australia beat renewable energy deployment projections in 2020, driven in part by a 40% year-on-year increase in rooftop solar installs, according to new figures from the country’s Clean Energy Regulator.
March 10, 2021
Lightsource BP has secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) with electricity company Snowy Hydro to supply 88 service stations in New South Wales, Australia with solar energy.
March 9, 2021
The government of New South Wales has earmarked AU$750 million (US$578.5 million) to invest in climate action projects in a bid to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET