South Australia joins Denmark in targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2027

Graphic: Sean Creighton/The Progress Playbook
Graphic: Sean Creighton/The Progress Playbook

South Australia has officially brought forward its net 100% renewable electricity target by three years, to 2027.

Wind-powerhouse Denmark has the same ambition, but is slightly ahead as things stand. In 2023, the Scandinavian nation sourced 88% of its electricity from renewable technologies, versus South Australia’s 71%.

Announcing the revised goal, which the local grid operator says is achievable, South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas said: “Meeting this target will not only drive environmental outcomes – it will drive state prosperity.”

The regional government said it wants to accelerate “decarbonised economic development” by encouraging more renewable energy and battery storage investments and establishing itself as a green hydrogen hub.

This strategy, it says, will attract mining, processing, and manufacturing companies that want to produce carbon-neutral goods for the world’s markets. Those firms will also benefit from cost advantages as South Australia shifts away from gas-fired power – the most expensive component of its electricity mix.

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

The state said it’s already seeing “synergy between investment and renewables”, citing mining group BHP’s decision to purchase nearly half its Olympic Dam electricity needs from a local wind farm and battery project.

The government added that as other states in the country shut their uneconomical coal plants early, South Australia will have an opportunity to export more wind and solar power.

“The global price shocks of 2022 proved that we must strengthen our own supply and resilience to external pressures,” energy minister Tom Koutsantonis said. “We are doing the hard work of making sure the state has clean, affordable, reliable energy.”

Aside from its grid-scale renewable energy resources, South Australia is a leader in behind-the-meter installations. At times, rooftop solar output alone exceeds the state’s electricity needs.


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