Research finds unreliable, expensive gas cause of SA price spikes: Solar-thermal solution needed

ed6b9da38ce262e8eff6f81228b4e280New research from the Climate Council has identified expensive and unreliable gas power as the key cause of recent electricity price spikes in South Australia.

The Climate Council recommends large-scale and distributed energy storage to protect South Australian households from future price spikes caused by expensive and unreliable gas.

The community campaign Repower Port Augusta says solar thermal power with energy storage is now needed to strengthen SA’s energy system.

“Now’s the time to build a solar thermal power plant in Port Augusta,” said Dan Spencer of Repower Port Augusta.

“Bringing solar thermal power online in South Australia should be priority number one for Federal Minister for Energy Josh Frydenberg and state counterpart Tom Koutsantonis.”

“The South Australian Government should sign up to buy 75% of its power from solar thermal in Port Augusta to make solar thermal happen,” added Dan Spencer.

“Protecting South Australians from unreliable and expensive gas is something all federal and state governments can support.”

Y2R’s Pat Simons and Leigh Ewbank check out the solar thermal tower in Ivanpah, California. 

Repower Port Augusta alliance member, Friends of the Earth, says fossil fuel interests have attempted to damage the reputation of renewable energy and influence state and federal energy ministers in recent weeks.

“The fossil fuel sector’s attack on renewables has muddied the waters of energy policy,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“Communities are ready to defend renewables and want Minister Frydenberg to stand up to bullying from fossil fuel interests.”

An upcoming meeting of the COAG Energy Council on August 19 presents an opportunity for state and federal governments to develop a plan to grow renewables, strengthen the NEM, and protect farmland from risky onshore gas.

“State and federal ministers can strengthen South Australia’s energy system by adopting a plan to rollout energy storage at the upcoming COAG meeting. This step can reduce the reliance on expensive and unreliable gas,” added Leigh Ewbank.

“The Turnbull government can prove its renewable energy credentials by endorsing the initiatives of South Australia, Victoria, and the ACT.”


  • Sign Repower Port Augusta’s online petition calling for the Federal and South Australian governments to make solar thermal power a reality.
  • Communities are mobilising to defend renewable energy from the fossil fuel sector’s attacks… Show your support by using the #DefendRenewables hashtag on social media.

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