South Australia leads renewable energy push

More than a quarter of South Australia’s electricity was generated by the state’s wind farms, according to a new report by EnergyQuest.

The report found that 26 per cent of South Australia’s electricity was generated by wind in 2011, up from 18 per cent the previous year.

“South Australia is currently leading the nation in using wind power to generate electricity, and the great news is the cost to consumers has been extremely low,” Clean Energy Council policy director Russell Marsh said.

“A recent report by the Australian Electricity Market Commission showed large-scale renewable energy made up just 3 per cent of the price rises to South Australian power bills,” he said.

“South Australian wind farms currently generate enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 504,000 homes each year and have pumped almost $3 billion into the regional South Australian economy.”

Facing claims that wind and solar power were causing electricity price hikes, Mr Marsh quashed the statement and said more than 90 per cent of price hikes over the next three years will come from an increase in costs for the traditional energy system.

“South Australia has a relatively small number of electricity users spread over a large geographical area. The cost of maintaining such a large network means that state power prices are higher than other parts of the country,” he said.