South Australian premier Jay Weatherill has committed to establishing the country’s first renewable energy storage target, if Labor is returned to government next month.
The 25 per cent target by 2025 will boost battery storage installation to 750MW for the state.
In another bold move towards a clean energy-powered future, the premier has also promised to increase the South Australia’s renewable energy target from 50 per cent to 75 per cent by 2025.
Mr Weatherill said the new targets were a rejection of the federal government’s plan to scrap state-based renewable energy targets as part of its National Energy Guarantee (NEG).
“We’re not interested in putting our leadership in renewable energy in the hands of people that don’t believe in a renewable energy future,” he told Guardian Australia.
South Australia has been leading the country in renewable energy projects, with several big projects in the pipeline.
This includes Carnegie Clean Energy’s $3 million, 2MW battery storage project at the General Motors Holden site in Elizabeth, announced today.
“We have seen the impact of storage technology in South Australia, with the Tesla battery at Jamestown wiping tens of millions of dollars off the cost of electricity in South Australia in its first few months of operation,” SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said.
“Through the Renewable Storage Target, Labor will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and lower bills for South Australians.
“Renewable energy is cheap because the fuel source is free, and by partnering with storage companies to drive investment in new projects we can lower energy bills for South Australian families and businesses.”
Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said the South Australian Government had shown it is a national and international leader in the uptake of renewable energy and the transition of its energy sector.
The council has released an eight-point plan ahead of the election to unlock a battery revolution in South Australia.
“The energy storage target in particular is exactly what is needed to help deliver higher levels of wind and solar while ensuring the ongoing reliability of the power system,” Mr Thornton said.
“Both the 75 per cent renewable energy target and the new energy storage target underline the state’s many clean energy achievements, from working with Tesla and Neoen to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to producing half of SA’s power from renewables.
“South Australia has shown that it is possible to deliver electricity that is both reliable and clean, and as more low-cost renewable energy enters the power system it will push power prices down for homes and businesses.
“The government is driving a shift toward clean energy which will reduce its exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices and make the state much more competitive in the future – while creating business opportunities in the here and now.
“One thing our industry has shown is that if you give us a target or a goal, we will beat it.”
The South Australian state election will take place on March 17.