Labor’s Proposed Renewable Energy Zone For SA Announced

Renewable Energy Zone - REZ - South Australia

Image: Google Earth

A “Renewable Energy Zone” (REZ) will be established in South Australia under a Shorten Labor Government – and its location was revealed yesterday.

Back in 2017 Labor announced its intention to establish a series of REZs, which were to be based on an area’s renewable energy potential. The idea behind REZ’s is to bring a strategic approach to developing Australia’s renewable energy sector and help deliver on Labor’s target of ensuring 50 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation is from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Labor says the zones will assist in coordinating investment in energy generation, storage and transmission, and act as a signal to investors as to the future sites for projects.

Announced yesterday, the REZ in SA would stretch from the north of Adelaide, along the Yorke Peninsula, around the top of Spencer Gulf and through to Whyalla.

“South Australia has led the country with renewable energy investment, but we still have huge untapped potential in the Spencer Gulf region,” says a statement posted on Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler’s web site. “Unlocking this potential will supply cheaper, cleaner, renewable energy, as well as providing a vital source of regional employment and reinvigorating towns around the Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent regions.”

It’s estimated up 1,300 new jobs in renewable energy could be created for people in regional South Australia.

Declaration of the REZ would see the region benefiting from Labor’s $5 billion Energy Security and Modernisation fund, which among other activities will support transmission links to new renewables projects across the country.

Western Australia REZ Announced

Earlier this week Labor also announced its intention of declaring the South West of Western Australia as an REZ should it win the upcoming election.

“The Climate Institute has estimated the South West of Western Australia has enormous potential for renewable energy development in wind, solar and bioenergy, and almost 1,500 jobs could be created with the right policies to develop the region’s renewable potential.”

Labor’s first proposed Renewable Energy Zone was announced last year – that REZ is to be in north-west Tasmania.

Labor leader Bill Shorten and co. have been busy spruiking their climate and renewable energy street cred this week and thrown in a couple of new items – including a $75 million renewables jobs and skills package and an initiative to install solar power and battery systems at up to 4,000 schools throughout Australia. These schools will become part of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs).

There’s also been a lot of buzz over a Smart Energy Council analysis published yesterday regarding Labor’s previously announced Household Battery Program. SQ’s Ronald will be challenging that analysis soon, so stay tuned.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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