Tuesday, 12 November 2019
Questions without Notice
South Australia: Energy
I thank Senator Griff for his question, particularly as it relates to energy reliability in our home state of South Australia. Certainly, Senator Griff, I can reassure you that the Morrison government, together with the Marshall Liberal government in South Australia, has been working to ensure enhanced reliability of the grid in South Australia.
Recently the Australian Energy Market Operator released this year's Electricity statement of opportunities. This shows that grid reliability in SA is in fact improving. In 2018, AEMO reported that the reliability standard as set by government would be exceeded in South Australia—that there would be heightened risk of blackouts. Going in now, the forecast for 2019 shows that that is no longer the case, that that reliability standard is, in the context of South Australia, expected to be met. It is met by a range of factors, including increasing energy generation in the state, some through renewable capability and some that can provide the type of peaking support to provide for reliability.
Last week Minister Taylor opened additional gas-powered capability on Torrens Island. The new 210-megawatt Barker Inlet Power Station will complement the very high shares of intermittent wind and solar generated in South Australia, reducing prices and helping to improve reliability. We're also pursuing a range of other measures to help with reliability. The main risk in the National Electricity Market, as you identified, Senator Griff, indeed now comes from Victoria. In that state, we have seen that the threat of blackouts is real, and that's a result of the shutdown, driven by state government policies there, of large generators and a state government that continues to insist on a gas ban, which puts real pressures in terms of their energy market generation.