Renewable storage could be a boost for EP

Premier Jay Weatherill has announced the state government’s $550-million energy plan to improve the reliability and affordability of power statewide.

The question now is: what’s in it for Eyre Peninsula?

And how does the planning that is already being done by Eyre Peninsula leaders and local industry fit into this big picture, statewide plan?

A key part of the state government’s plan is to build Australia’s largest battery to store energy from the wind and sun, as part of a new Renewable Technology Fund that supports clean, dispatchable and affordable power.

There will also be a push for increased investment in new energy sources.

This appears to have potential benefits for Eyre Peninsula industry by providing more opportunities for wind and solar power ventures in the region.

The Energy Security for South Australia working party is the latest group to point out the region’s huge potential to produce renewable energy and this group is not the first to lobby for the infrastructure to be made available to make it viable.

Apart from the infrastructure to transport the power produced, storage is also a key element to ensure renewable energy can also be reliable energy.

However power security is the immediate concern and there does not seem to be anything in the plan relating to the reliability of Port Lincoln’s backup power supply and Member for Flinders Peter Treloar has raised concerns the plan does not address the capacity or reliability of Eyre Peninsula’s grid.

With the state’s plan now available to be discussed and debated, next month’s energy security summit in Port Lincoln will have an extra dimension to consider.

Although there was already plenty of fodder to chew over before its release.

It will be interesting to hear from some relatively independent experts without any politics getting in the way.

The summit also provides an opportunity to remind everyone that our energy issues are more than just problems with a grid.

There are real people, businesses schools and hospitals affected by the region’s unreliable and unaffordable power.

If we approach the issue as a way to bring Eyre Peninsula together with the rest of the country perhaps we will find the right solution.