Renewables meeting will create more hot air than light

06 Oct 2016 newsmedia

The State Liberals have seized on an admission from Premier Jay Weatherill on ABC radio that South Australia’s over-reliance on renewable energy has driven up the price of electricity to renew their call for an independent inquiry into last week’s state-wide power black-out.

Jay Weatherill ”… this notion of intermittency in relation to wind energy and that’s an issue, we accept that, it’s one of the things that’s causing pressure on our prices…” (ABC 891 : 6/10/2016)

“South Australians were promised cheaper power through renewables and finally the Premier has been forced to admit that rather than bringing the price of electricity down our over-reliance on intermittent power has driven it up,” said Shadow Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Michelle Lensink.

“The issue now is how do we extract ourselves from the mess successive Labor Governments have created of our electricity system.

“South Australia desperately needs a comprehensive, independent inquiry into the black-out that investigates why we pay the highest electricity prices in the nation for the most unreliable system in the nation.

“Jay Weatherill’s claim that last week’s black-out was caused solely by the weather isn’t credible and leaving AEMO to investigate its performance isn’t sensible.

“South Australia will not be able to fix its electricity problems by sticking its head in the sand and pretending everything is operating as it should.”

The ‘independent’ inquiry should include the following terms of reference:

- Why did a transmission/frequency event in one part of South Australia result in a state-wide blackout and how can this be avoided in the future?

- Is there enough system re-start capability in the SA market?

- Why did it take so long for power to be switched back on?

- Has the proliferation of intermittent generation in South Australia put the state’s electricity network at risk?

- Did the State Government adequately assess warnings regarding system unreliability?

- Why are South Australians paying the highest electricity prices in the nation for a network that failed?