SA election: What does it mean for energy?

Solar panels with wind turbines in background (south australia target)
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South Australians hit the polls at the weekend, electing Steven Marshall as the 46th Premier for the state.

Before the election, former Premier Jay Weatherill committed to establishing the country’s first renewable energy storage target of 25 per cent by 2025, boosting battery storage installations in the state to 750MW.

In another bold move towards a clean energy-powered future, Mr Weatherill also promised to increase the South Australia’s renewable energy target from 50 per cent to 75 per cent by 2025, if Labor was returned to government.

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).

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said by electing Mr Marshall as Premier, South Australians have voted for a “return to sensible energy policy”.

“After giving South Australians the most expensive and least reliable energy system in the country, Jay Weatherill doubled down on his ‘big experiment’ by proposing a 75 per cent renewable energy target,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“South Australians have made their opinion clear and voted emphatically to reject Labor’s energy policy.

“They have instead supported Steven Marshall’s commitment to the NEG, which will result in lower prices and greater reliability as we transition to a lower emissions future.

“Now it’s time for Federal Labor to get on board with the NEG.”

The Marshall Government wants the Federal Government to set a nationally consistent renewable energy target, but will still stay committed to the state’s many renewable energy projects.

The new government has committed to $200 million towards an interconnector to New South Wales, as well as $100 million to subsidise battery systems for 40,000 homes.

“In many ways, having an interconnector with NSW will improve the viability of [renewable energy projects] because it will create an export highway out of our state,” Mr Marshall said.

Mr Frydenberg called on the federal Labor government to “acknowledge the failure” of South Australia’s energy policies and drop the 50 per cent renewable energy target.

“The NEG is a unique opportunity to break with the subsidy mentality of the past and adopt a truly technology neutral policy that delivers a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“The Commonwealth looks forward to working with the Marshall Government and other jurisdictions through the COAG Energy Council to deliver the NEG and the investment certainty the energy sector needs.”

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