Majority of South Australians want 100% renewable energy by 2030: TAI poll

Ageing coal-fired plants in Victoria are least reliable in national grid.

Nearly 70 per cent of South Australian voters want their state to adopt 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. In addition, it seems South Australian renewable energy has overwhelming support across political divides.

New polling by The Australian Institute (TAI) shows majority support for renewables like wind and solar power cuts through party affiliations. This includes Labor, the Greens, the Coalition and One Nation supporters.

South Australia currently has a renewable energy target (RET) of 75 per cent by 2025, and is on track to achieve it.

Sustainable state supports 100% renewable energy by 2030

TAI surveyed a representative sample of 624 South Australians. They were asked if they supported or opposed a RET of 100 per cent by 2030.

Majority of South Australians want 100% renewable energy by 2030 a TAI poll shows.

South Australia’s mega battery is part of SA’s push for 75% renewable energy by 2025.

In addition, results showed 38 per cent ‘supported’ the policy and 31 per cent ‘strongly supported’ it. Only 8 per cent ‘opposed’ and 6 per cent ‘strongly opposed’. The ‘don’t knows’ exceeded these opponents, with 17 per cent unsure of their views.

South Australia renewable energy leader among the states

South Australia’s renewable energy leader status is already established. A 2018 Climate Council report showed SA has the largest amount of installed large-scale wind and solar panel capacity in Australia. SA boasts 1,831 MW while NSW has 1,759 MW and Victoria 1,634 MW.

The ‘Powering Progress: States Renewable Energy Race’ shows SA is third in the renewable race, behind Tasmania and ACT.

SA achieved more than 43 per cent renewable energy in 2017 – behind Tasmania (87 per cent including hydroelectricity) and ACT at 46 per cent.

SA ‘mega battery’ gets thumbs up from AEMO

In addition, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has given SA’s Tesla Powerpack battery the tick of approval.

The Coalition mocked the largest lithium-ion battery in the world, Elon Musk’s ‘mega battery’ at Hornsdale Power Reserve. Yet AEMO said in October last year its performance was “very encouraging”. The battery:

  • Made $13 million in revenue during first six months of operation.
  • Saved SA Government $33 million by stabilising the grid super-fast.
  • Helped prevent SA blackouts during peak demand.
  • Led to 57% drop in Frequency Control Ancillary Services costs.

The energy storage battery was built in the wake of the 2016 statewide blackouts.

Australia on track for 100% renewables by early 2030s

The TAI poll shows a majority of supporters of every political party favour the target of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

The Greens and Centre Alliance came in at 79 per cent with ALP (77%), LNP (60%) and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (56%).

Research by the Australian National University also shows Australia will install around 10,400 MW of renewables between 2018 and 2019.

The nation could therefore reach 100 per cent renewable energy by the early 2030s.