New report finds electricity price spikes in SA have reduced as renewable energy grows

05.08.16 By

A new Climate Council report released today reveals the number of electricity price spikes in South Australia has tumbled as the state’s share of renewable electricity increased.

The report found that electricity price spikes (periods when wholesale prices exceed $5,000/MWh) have fallen significantly across the National Electricity Market as the proportion of renewable energy has increased but especially in South Australia.

In 2015, there was just one price spike compared to more than 50 in 2008.

Climate Councillor and energy expert Andrew Stock said recent short-term increases in South Australia’s wholesale power prices were driven primarily by the state’s reliance on expensive gas for power and a lack of competition amongst power generators.

“Queensland, which has less than 5% renewable electricity, has until recently experienced similarly high prices to South Australia and all eastern states have experienced similar short-term price patterns even though power generation in these states is overwhelmingly coal based,” he said.

“This is further evidence that the cause of these price rises are due to a range of industry factors rather than renewable energy.”

The Mythbusting: Electricity Prices in South Australia report also found:

The Climate Council’s Professor Tim Flannery said South Australia’s transition away from coal was consistent with the action required to avoid catastrophic climate change and ensure the survival of the Great Barrier Reef.

“As news emerged this week that parts of the Great Barrier Reef appear to have suffered total ecosystem collapse with corals continuing to be bleached well into winter, it’s a reminder that we cannot afford to lose sight of why we are transitioning our energy systems,” he said.

“It’s to protect the people and places we love from worsening extreme weather events that are being driven by climate change.”

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