Renewable energy (3)
A general view of the DanTysk wind farm, 90 kilometres west of Esbjerg, Denmark, September 21, 2016. Reuters/Nikolaj Skydsgaard

The South Australian government should be concentrating on adopting renewable energy instead of gas in its attempt to bag control of the energy market, according to the Greens. This comes on the heels of the Government’s strategy to bring power prices down and introduce energy stability. To achieve this, it plans to construct and operate a 250-megawatt gas fired power plant.

The Government will be launching an incentive scheme, worth $48 million, for new gas supplies. In addition, it will also give land owners a part of the royalties that come from gas wells on their properties. "We've seen the State Government back the wrong horse today, backing gas and fossil fuels over the abundance of renewable capacity here in our state," Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

At the same time, renewable energy has not been put aside. A fund worth $150 million will be used with an aim to the country’s largest energy storage battery.

Meanwhile, the South Australian government’s power plan aimed at fulfilling energy requirements of the state has been met with mixed reactions. Those in support for the move were AGL Energy, environmental groups and unions that think it will be good for the workers.

However, Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the move will increase power costs. Speaking with Sky News, he said it came as a “$550 million admission of failure” on part of the Weatherill government. “Going it alone helped put South Australia in the mess that it is today,” Frydenberg said.

A warning of possible gas shortage was issued by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) last week. The Government intends to enhance its gas exploration in the state, including the southeast where resistance has been widely seen. In lieu of this, Anti-fracking campaigner Anne Daw said offering royalties may not be adequate.

"The landowners have made it very clear they don't want invasive gas fields or mining projects down in the south-east," she said. "The Government has completely ignored the potable water, how precious it is down there and the legislation is hopeless."

The Conservative Council has also expressed that the State Government’s plan is not ideal. "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.