Release date: 27/02/24

New target for renewables

South Australia will bring forward its renewable energy target by three years, as the Malinauskas Government accelerates decarbonised economic development.

Under the ambitious new target, electricity generation would be sourced from net 100 per cent renewables by 2027.

This will strengthen the state’s ambition as a result of the State Government’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan and new Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act — key planks of the State Prosperity Project — which are set to unleash huge new investments in renewable energy.

New data shows South Australia is on track to achieve net 100 per cent of electricity generation from renewables by 2030.

By setting an even more ambitious target, we are letting the world know that there is no room for complacency in our mission to decarbonise.

Under the plan, excess renewable energy generated from large-scale wind and solar farms will be stored and utilised to provide a consistent output of supply, providing additional grid stability for homes and businesses around the state.

Wind and solar power is far cheaper than electricity generated by gas, so an increased proportion of renewables will push prices lower.

Clean electricity is essential to South Australia meeting its commitment to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels). And it will accelerate progress as we strive to reach net zero emissions in all sectors across the state by 2050.

This will unlock the potential for mining, processing, and manufacturing to produce carbon-neutral goods for the world’s markets – driving SA prosperity.

This synergy between investment and renewables is already happening, such as in BHP’s decision to purchase nearly half its Olympic Dam electricity needs from an SA wind farm and battery project.

BHP will draw power from Neoen’s Goyder South windfarm and Blyth Battery which will become the state’s biggest battery energy storage system.

Construction on both projects is in progress right now, with hundreds of workers on site.

AEMO generation forecasts show considerable growth in electricity demand as the South Australian economy expands this decade – increasing from around 16,000 gigawatt-hours this financial year to nearly 23,000 gigawatt-hours in 2030-31.

The bulk of the extra energy will be provided by renewables, with supply so plentiful that South Australia will be consistently a net exporter to the eastern states.

The Malinauskas Government is confident our Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act and positive attitude to investors will spur more renewables projects.

At the same time, we have observed coal-fired power stations interstate becoming increasingly less reliable and owners making decisions to close them early.

This will create demand from interstate for our clean, reliable power.

The forecasts come as:

  • In calendar 2023, there were 289 days on which renewables met all of the consumption demand of the entire state for part of the day.
  • There is so much supply from rooftop solar that on 31 December 2023, SA recorded a minimum demand of minus 26MW for a half-hour pricing period – that is rooftop solar alone was powering the state.
  • The market recovers from the Russia-Ukraine global gas shocks, with SA’s wholesale electricity prices falling to $103/MWh in 2023 – down 44 per cent from 2022, according to the Australian Energy Regulator.
  • The price advantage of renewables is clear in the AEMO Q4 2023 report. In the National Electricity Market, when gas set the price as the final bidder it averaged $137/MWh compared to minus $35/MWh when grid-scale solar set the price and minus $47/MWh when it was wind.


Attributable to Premier Peter Malinauskas

The world is demanding that economies decarbonise to avoid the risk of catastrophic climate change.

Our bountiful resources of wind and solar energy provide us the opportunity to seize the moment and produce what the world demands.

We must not rest on our laurels and cannot afford complacency.

The time is right to recalibrate and set an even more ambitious target..

This will further entrench our state as a renewables leader not just in Australia, but the world.

Meeting this target will not only drive environmental outcomes – it will drive state prosperity.

Attributable to Tom Koutsantonis

We have already become the first jurisdiction in the world with energy demand averaging above a gigawatt to have wind and solar generate all that is needed and more.

But we are not stopping there.

There is no doubt we will get to net 100 per cent renewables before 2030.

So we are doubling down on our ambition.

We want to get there even sooner.

The global price shocks of 2022 proved that we must strengthen our own supply and resilience to external pressures.

We are doing the hard work of making sure the state has clean, affordable, reliable energy.