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why South Australia matters « Previous | |Next »
February 7, 2012

Greg Craven opens his recent Keep the constitutional change simple in the AFR with this witty rhetoric:

There used to be only three certainties in life: death, taxes and the irrelevance of South Australia. Now we have two more. The first is that the current initiative to recognise indigenous people in the Constitution is doomed to failure. The second is that the position can be retrieved, but only if we act quickly to produce a modest, precise proposal.

Yep, WA and Queensland are the dynamic mining states whose resources will drive economic growth in Australia and ensure its future prosperity. SA, in comparison is the rustbucket state relying on handouts from the (socialist) federal government. These handouts ultimately come from the wealth generated by the mining boom.

RoweDrcarbontax.jpg David Rowe, Carbon Tax, AFR

However, from another perspective, that of making a transformation in the way energy is produced SA does matter. It has a high profile in terms of clean tech--- especially wind. The amount of wind power that is fed into its electricity systems in South Australia is 22 per cent wind, one of the highest in the world. SA represents the future.

The recent Grattan study---No easy choices: which way to Australia's energy future--- says that Australia is capable of substantially expanding the amount of wind power that is fed into its electricity systems. Wind power could provide more than 20 per cent of Australia energy needs (it currently provides just 2 per cent) and that it is the only low emissions power technology that is ready for rapid scale up in a short period of time.

What is holding back this development is the national electricity grid --it needs to be improved for remote sites and interstate interconnectors built for electricity to flow to the eastern states. Existing transmission networks and network regulation are designed around the assumption of centralised ‘baseload’ power supply and are not well suited to remote or distributed generation.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:57 AM |