Time for politicians to correct the record on renewables as meteorologists confirm storm caused blackout 

A newly released Bureau of Meteorology investigation has found seven tornadoes ripped through South Australia and damaged transmission lines on the day of a statewide blackout in September.

“The loss of supply corresponded with a widespread outbreak of supercell thunderstorms with an exceptional number of tornadoes,” the Bureau of Meteorology state in the report (page 39).

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National environment group Friends of the Earth say it’s time for politicians to correct the record about the real cause of the blackout.

“Politicians such as Prime Minister Turnbull and opposition leader Steve Marshall blamed renewable energy for the blackout–a view which the Bureau of Meteorology shows to be incorrect,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“Malcolm Turnbull and Steven Marshall can restore their reputation by ending the blame game and backing renewable energy.”

The Bureau of Meteorology report comes several weeks after the fossil fuel lobby launched a second aggressive attack on South Australia’s renewable energy leadership, blaming wind farms and solar homes for a recent statewide blackout rather than the obvious cause: a one-in-fifty-year storm.

Spokesperson Leigh Ewbank says fossil fuel interests are deliberately talking down South Australia’ s electricity system.

“Talking down South Australia’s renewable energy sector is threat to millions of dollars worth of investment and thousands of jobs.”

“It’s also at odds with Australia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change which the Turnbull government ratified last week.”

Friends of the Earth will send an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and South Australian opposition leader Steven Marshall urging them to correct the record and stand up for renewable energy investment and jobs.

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