What happened in SA?
As you are probably aware the whole state of South Australia recently lost power due to failures in the grid. This was partly because of an increase in demand by 25% for electricity. This was caused by a sharp rise in temperature with many people wanting to use air conditioning.
SA also has the highest supply of renewable energy with the use of wind farms and solar panels. It has been questioned if renewables are good to use compared with coal. These supplementary products are in the middle of a debate of what is better to produce power from. Coal is arguably more reliable and you can produce coal whenever a power station can run unlike renewables which can only work in certain times of the day.
The Governments Position
The Coalition Federal Government has made it clear that their stance to energy production will always heavy rely on coal. Which is very different to the State South Australian government who have the highest green energy targets in Australia.
“Coal is a big part of the future under a Coalition Government and clearly that’s not the case under the alternative,” Mr Morrison told the ABC.
The Federal Government has not ruled out redirecting funds from a clean energy fund to create more coal stations, Whilst it is cheap now its good to remind ourselves that the government have spent 590 million dollars on ‘clean coal’ technology.
Movement towards green energy
With the federal government warning that NSW could also follow this ‘blackout’ trend Australia needs to find a solution to produce more power and create more back up supply. One solution is to encourage innovation in clean energy; this allows consumers of energy to produce their own energy and not have to rely on the grid to keep them supplied. Green energy would eventually help people reduce their power bill which also in the long term lowers their cost of living allowing them to have more disposable income. The downside into Green energy is the upfront cost compared to already running coal power stations.
Where to go from here?
Australia relies on energy and sustainable energy must be apart of that future but how we go about changing the sources will be difficult. A reallocation of resources is critical when changing the source of our energy. This requires the public and private sectors to come together and work out a plan. A starting place would be to reconsider a more concentrated carbon tax to make green energy more competitive or potentially stop governments supporting this type of production, like reducing or eliminating subsidies. This shift away from coal though also wipes out an entire industry which leads to loss of jobs but is a trade off Australia has to make for the future of stable power.