In June, South Australia saw sudden increases in the prices of electricity, which has since developed into a national inquiry about whether the countries supply of electricity is enough to handle the growing demand for wind and solar power. The country is usually stabilized at about $100 per MW hour, but this has seen huge amounts of inflation in the past month and has even peaked at as much as $14,000 per MW hour. The average also remains incredibly high at above $10,000.
This has sparked great concern with industry experts, leading to the subject becoming globally talked about. Approximately 40% of South Australia’s entire electricity is generated from renewable sources, which it looks to increase to 50% by 2025.
South Australian senator Nick Xenophon has said, “I am not anti-wind but there are legitimate questions to ask about the renewable energy mix and the role of interconnections and the like,” Adam Giles, the Northern Territory chief minister ordered a ‘national energy summit’ to delve into the effectiveness of this reliance on renewable energy.
According to South Australia’s treasurer and minister for energy, South Australia is merely being punished for having such an advanced insight into energy policies and technology. Tom Koutsantonis also stated that Victoria has energy connections with three states in Australia, whereas South Australia only has connection to Victoria.
Hugh Saddler, representing the infrastructure consultancy Pitt and Sherry has agreed that decisions made by the National Electricity Market need to be reconsidered in order to combat this concern. He believes there are short-term problems that are the cause of the sudden price increases in South Australia, such as the abnormally chilly weather requiring maintenance on the two interconnectors between SA and Victoria.
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