South Australia accelerates renewable energy targets in ambitious three-year replan

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

The South Australian government has accelerated its renewable energy targets in a bid to fuel the state by greener electricity within the next three years.

The change will see South Australian electricity generation sourced from net 100 per cent renewables by 2027, rather than the end of the decade.

The state was already on track to achieve the target by 2030 but will now bring forward those goals as the Malinauskas Government looks to accelerate regional decarbonisation projects.

The new Hydrogen Jobs Plan and Renewable Energy Act will play a key role in meeting those targets – with approximately 75 per cent of the state’s electricity production currently produced by wind and solar energy alone.

By becoming the nation’s first “net 100 per cent renewable state”, there’s also the potential to unlock an influx of investment within the mining, processing and manufacturing sectors that would provide a welcome boost to the South Australian economy.

BHP has already signed to purchase nearly half of its Olympic Dam electricity requirements from Neoen’s Goyder South windfarm and Blyth battery facility, which are currently under construction.

SA aiming to become a renewable energy leader

South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas says the updated plan will ensure complacency is avoided and cement South Australia as a leader in the renewable energy space, both within Australia and worldwide.

“Our bountiful resources of wind and solar energy provide us the opportunity to seize the moment and produce what the world demands,” he said.

“We must not rest on our laurels and cannot afford complacency…Meeting this target will not only drive environmental outcomes – it will drive state prosperity.”

Minister for Energy and Mining Tom Koutsantonis says South Australia was already a global leader in the renewable energy space, and achieving the net 100 per cent renewables goal even earlier would help avoid future electricity price spikes, as seen in recent years.

“ We have already become the first jurisdiction in the world with energy demand averaging above a gigawatt to have wind and solar generate all that is needed and more,” he said.

“The global price shocks of 2022 proved that we must strengthen our supply and resilience to external pressures.”

“We are doing the hard work of ensuring the state has clean, affordable, reliable energy.”

Updated plan could help slash power bills sooner

Last year, there were 289 days in which renewables met the entire state’s consumption demands for part of the day.
As part of the state’s greater commitment to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, South Australians won’t have to wait that long to see some benefits of greener electricity production.

Cheaper productions should help lower power bills for consumers, while the energy generated from wind and solar farms will be stored and utilised using large-scale batteries to improve output consistency.

This will allow the state to rely on renewable power even when weather conditions disrupt the production of wind and solar sources.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.