The South Australian Government’s decision to support additional local dispatchable electricity generation to help manage the state's supply challenge is a step in the right direction, the energy industry said today.
Australian Energy Council Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, said that the Weatherill Government's backing of a national market-based emissions reduction scheme and announcement of a gas supply incentive programme was also welcomed.
"The current electricity market challenges in South Australia are the result of a number of incompatible State and Federal policy decisions over the past decade," Mr Warren said.
"As a result, South Australia can now no longer be confident that it has an affordable and reliable energy supply in the near term. Securing more firm, dispatchable generation within South Australia is essential to that state managing upcoming heat waves, cold snaps and periods of low demand.
"There is no reason to suggest that market power or monopolies or a lack of competition are to blame. There is plenty of electricity generation and plenty of competition in South Australia, it is just that too much of that electricity is intermittent.
"South Australia needs a plan to manage its large volume of intermittent generation, and we need a nationally agreed plan for the National Electricity Market as we transition to a lower emissions future. In the meantime, this announcement is a positive step towards more, essential, firm generation in South Australia.”
About the Australian Energy Council
The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.
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