The SA Productivity Commission has been asked to undertake an inquiry into South Australia’s potential to secure a competitive advantage from renewable energy, what could be done to enhance any such advantage, and what economic opportunities it might enable.
The SAPC published its Draft Report on 10 May 2022.
It found that South Australia has some significant natural advantages in terms of renewable power. SA has low cost wind, good solar resources, and regions with some of the best combined wind and solar resources in the world.
South Australia saw substantial investment in wind farms in the 2000s and 2010s, as well as substantial household and business investment in rooftop solar and as a result by 2020/21 62 per cent of the State’s electricity was from renewable sources. Average wholesale prices went from being amongst the highest in the national electricity market to amongst the lowest.
However, the State’s ability to take advantage of these natural advantages in renewable energy has been limited by problems in the local electricity market, and from several adverse policy changes. This means that South Australia is not currently experiencing a competitive advantage due to renewable energy.
Stakeholders are encouraged to provide information and views to the inquiry and to share this information with other stakeholders who may wish to contribute to this inquiry.