South Australian Pride In Renewable Energy

Wind and solar power in South Australia

Image: Seagul

A recent poll indicates the majority of South Australians are proud of the state’s wind and solar power achievements – and they want other states to follow SA’s lead.

Commissioned by the Climate Council, the ReachTel poll quizzed attitudes in South Australia on January 29 (before the solar + storage bonanza announcement yesterday) in relation to the state’s standing on renewables and energy storage .

Across age groups and political leanings, 60.2% were proud of SA’s clean energy leadership and 62.2% thought Australia should switch to renewables as the main source of the country’s electricity in the next 10 years.

In terms of Liberal voters specifically, 44.7% said the country should switch to renewable energy + storage technologies in the next five to ten years. For coal, it was 17.4% and gas, 12.5%.

57.6% of South Australians polled (33.5% Liberal, 83.3% Labor, 54.3% SA Best) said the rest of Australia should follow the state’s lead on renewable energy and storage within the next five to ten years.

There was also a stark divide when it comes to views on whether renewables and storage are boosting SA’s economy. 23.3% Liberal voters vs. 67.6% Labor voters believe they had.

It seems the Tesla “Big Battery” has been more popular than not, with 53.2% of respondents rating it as positive or very positive for South Australia’s reputation.

“The state is doing its bit to slash pollution levels and to tackle climate change, now we just need the Federal Government to do the same for the nation,” said Climate Councillor, Andrew Stock.

More key findings from the poll can be viewed here.

Unfortunately, the full report hasn’t been published by the Climate Council yet. It would have been interesting to see more detail, such as the number of people interviewed, how the questions were posed and the choice of answers provided – some of the findings seem a little vague.

The devil can be in the detail, just as was the case with Mineral Council claims last month that 68% of Australians surveyed backed high-efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal fired power generation (which isn’t all that efficient or low in emissions).

South Australia’s Solid Small Scale Solar Street Cred

There’s certainly no doubt solar power is very popular in SA – not just in relation to opinions, but in action.

According to 2016 census statistics, the population of South Australia at that point was 1,676,653. The Clean Energy Regulator’s latest Cracking The Small Scale Code shows approximately 219,370 small scale solar power systems had been installed in South Australia by the end of December 2017.

During December, there were a total of 6781 solar power systems installed across the state, of which 63 were classified as being a commercial size (10 – 100kW).

Only 14 of the total installations also had a concurrent solar battery system installation – so just over 2% of the total. Data isn’t available from the Regulator as to how many battery retrofits to existing systems occurred.

As mentioned in a recent article here on SQ, the total number of solar + concurrent battery storage installation in the state stood at 605 at the end of December, based on installs the Regulator has been recording since 2014.

South Australia’s solar + battery storage statistics are set to get a mighty boost. Earlier today, we published initial details on the SA Government’s Virtual Power Plant project, which will see 50,000 SA households having solar panels and Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries installed over the next few years.

While on the topic of South Australia and energy, last week SQ blogger Ronald posted a very interesting article on SA’s controversial diesel generators.

Footnotes

  1. This number is likely to rise due to the 12- month STC creation period, on which the figures are based
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.

Comments

  1. Unless you know how the questions were phrased – and what biases were introduced – quoting the results is meaningless.

    eg “do you want to be punched in the face or kicked in the nuts?”
    Our survey said 56% of SA men want to be kicked in the nuts

    eg “should the SA government spend $1billion of your taxes on solar or $10 billion of your taxes on a new coal plant?
    Our survey said SA want the government to spend $1 billion on more solar…

    See what I mean?

  2. ce enthusiast says

    better to spend 1 billion dollars on clean renewable solar

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