SA Greens propose renewables target of 100% by 2030

South Australia should source 100 per cent of its electricity needs from clean energy by 2030, according to a plan mapped out by the Australian Greens that would will create 1,000 jobs and include a 100MW solar tower and storage plant near Port Augusta.

The plan was released by Greens leader Richard Di Natale and other Senators in Adelaide on Monday, as the party seeks to differentiate itself from the major parties ahead of the forthcoming federal election.

South Australia is the obvious place for the Greens to target a 100 per cent renewable energy plan. This year, it will be the first mainland state to pass the 50 per cent renewable energy mark, courtesy of more than 1,500MW of wind energy and 640MW of rooftop solar.

Labor premier Jay Weatherill has also canvassed a 100 per cent renewable energy future, although he is yet to put a time frame on that.

Like Weatherill, di Natale says investment in renewable energy is key to providing South Australia with the jobs in the future, particularly as it mainstay industries of the pass few decades, cars and steel  start to wind down.

He says the task will take an investment of around $15 billion over 15 years.“Transitioning to clean energy is the key to unlocking South Australia’s economic potential and combating global warming,” di Natale said in a statement. “While both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten talk about tackling climate change, they have locked us into the industries of the last century, supporting coal and vested interests.”

The Greens have declared their support for a proposal by US company SolarReserve to build a 110MW solar tower with storage plant near Port Augusta, where the state’s last coal fired generator is due to close down in May.

The Greens’ official policy platform is for Australia as a whole to reach 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030. While fossil fuel and nuclear interest decry this as a fantasy, the Australian Energy Market Operator says 100 per cent renewable energy for the entire country is technically feasible.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson