Additionally, the South Australian government unveiled its $550m energy plan, which includes the construction of 100MW battery, aimed at increasing security and boost competition.
Frydenberg said today’s announcements, which included a the world’s largest residential virtual power plant (VPP), a $20 million 5MW project in Adelaide installed by AGL, showed the government was “focused on renewables, we are focused on storage”.
Premier Weatherill and Koutsantonis also announced an energy security target for South Australia which will compel retailers to source up to 36% of energy from local cleaner generators and not coal from generators in Victoria.
Malcolm Turnbull has said the gas industry has guaranteed greater supplies for Australians but warned he would use the commonwealth export powers “in the national interest” if the companies did not deliver.
He said the producers had guaranteed to ensure that gas would be available for the national electricity market.
“We will be having a very frank conversation with the energy companies”, he said.
Eastern seaboard including New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria have seen demand for gas surge in the past couple of years as the three Gladstone terminals linked them to the global LNG market.
“It is a disgrace the way in which your government has treated our state”, he said, which prompted no eye contact from the federal energy minister.
“This clearly embraces our view that batteries are a vital part of the renewable energy revolution”, he said. That will be more heavily shaped by decisions in other States and at the national level.
“We have a plan to make South Australia self-sufficient, to stand on our own two feet today and that is what we’re getting on with”. “It’s really important that the Government actually chooses to vote with the future, and go down the path of the cleaner, more reliable and ultimately cheaper source of power rather than stick to what they describe as a traditional fuel [gas]”, the council said.
The South Australian government on Tuesday outlined plans to spend A$510 million ($385 million) to keep the lights on, including A$150 million to encourage the development of 100 megawatts of battery storage.
Turnbull warned gas chiefs the commonwealth would not be afraid to use its powers to control exports if the domestic gas supply commitment was not fulfilled.
Power company AGL doesn’t appear concerned, calling SA’s proposal a “considered and comprehensive approach” to challenges in the market.
At the same time, renewable energy has not been put aside.
“By building a government owned gas fired power station that can be used to provide system stability services and emergency back-up power we will not be held hostage by the private sector and the gaming of electricity prices”.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten pledged to work with the government to ensure Australia’s gas supply, saying the imminent gas shortage was “above party politics”.