Here we go again: electricity market fails in SA

MEDIA RELEASE 

9 February 2017

Here we go again: electricity market fails in SA

The failure of the National Electricity Market to properly manage the South Australian end of the system is putting at risk our long term transition to a cleaner, reliable and more affordable power supply, says the Conservation Council of SA.

The state's peak environment body has backed the move from the State Government for much greater intervention to ensure a reliable system following last night's unnecessary load shedding event, and again called for a solar thermal plant with storage to be built at Port Augusta.

"Something is clearly not working when there appears to be enough power supply available but it's not being switched on despite clear consumer demand," said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.

"The market is broken and this is having huge impacts on human health and local businesses.

"Clearly, South Australians cannot rely on the current National Electricity Market rules and systems to deliver them the safe, clean and affordable power supply they want,” he said.

"Already the Federal Government and other commentators are using this latest market failure in SA to take another swing at renewables and our state. Yet, the solar on a large share of our homes and businesses would have significantly reduced demand during yesterday's afternoon and evening peak. Solar - especially during heatwaves - is our friend, not our enemy.

"Equally, the call from Senator Nick Xenophon for a new fossil fuel plant to improve price stability does not make sense. Queensland, which is hugely reliant on gas, has been hit harder with far more huge price spikes over the past few months than SA. Gas is not the solution for SA, and neither is going back to coal.

"South Australia is the 'lead legislator' for the rules that govern the National Electricity Market. If the rules aren't working, then let's fix them.”

Release ends
Further comment: Craig Wilkins, 0417 879 439

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Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, general@conservationsa.org.au, or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

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