South Australia Sets 50% Renewable Energy Target

Sky Image: BigStock

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill announced on Tuesday the State Government will boost its Renewable Energy Target to 50 percent by 2025.

“This new target of half the State’s power to be generated by renewable sources will create jobs and drive capital investment and advanced manufacturing industries,” said the Premier.

However, there is a catch. Premier Weatherill says South Australia will only be successful in its goal if the Federal Government leaves the national Target arrangements alone. The Premier said sovereign risk created by the RET review was putting the brakes on various projects.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands of SA jobs in the renewable energy sector – these are the growth areas we should be supporting, not undermining,” stated the Premier (PDF).

South Australia hosts the nation’s largest number of wind turbines and residential uptake of solar panels in the state has also been strong. A 5kW solar power system installed in Adelaide can return a financial benefit of up to approximately $2,389 annually.

The possibility of even more jobs in the renewable energy sector is very welcome in South Australia, where jobs in other industries have been evaporating. To date, the RET has underpinned $5.5 billion expenditure in South Australia and could support a further $4.5 billion by 2025.

According to recent figures from the Australian Energy Market Operator, South Australia has likely already eclipsed its current 33 percent renewables target.

“We have demonstrated in South Australia is that, with the right policies and incentives, and with strong leadership and clear goals, even highly ambitious targets can be achieved and surpassed,” said Premier Weatherill.

“Along with industry, we call on the Commonwealth to support the Federal Renewable Energy Target and follow the example that we are setting in this important area.”

Thousands of owners of solar power systems and supporters in South Australia and across the nation will also be sending a very clear “hands off” message to the government this Friday.