Malcolm Turnbull says he's got a guarantee on gas supply

Introduce an Energy Security Target to ensure greater use of clean, secure energy generated in South Australia.

The project, to be financed by South Australia's newly-created $150 million Renewable Technology Fund, will seek to have bidders provider a battery that must have a capacity of approximately 100MW and be operational in time for next summer.

To build a $360m state-owned 250MW gas-fired power plant to provide emergency back-up power and system stability services for South Australians. This element will represent the bulk of the cost of the plan ($360 million).

South Australia's Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said he had built up healthy budget surpluses which would now pay for the bold energy plan.

On Wednesday, the state government said it is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) over a two-week period from national and worldwide companies to build a 100-MW battery system in time for the summer.

'The gas industry is a key part of Australia's prosperity, ' Mr Turnbull said.

The state government will legislate to give the Energy Minister direction over the market so South Australia's best interests always come first if there is an electricity shortfall.

Gas supplies would be enhanced by an extra $24 million in government incentives to develop new reserves with landowners to benefit from a 10 per cent royalty on any gas extracted.

ZEN Energy on Tuesday announced a partnership with Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) created to help South Australia solve its energy issues by integrating large-scale solar and battery storage with natural gas-based generation.


In related news, energy storage has also received a big boost in Victoria after its state government announced another AU$20 million for large-scale energy storage, in addition to the AU$5 million already pledged.

"The Commonwealth Government has considerable power with respect to any exports of any items, including gas, of course".

The government also cited the ability of storage to help dispatch renewable energy as and when it is needed.

'We want to see serious options put on the table to address both immediate and longer term issues, to ensure affordable gas supply to our economy, ' he said.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association's South Australia director Matthew Doman said the plan recognised the contribution gas could make.

The South Australian Government move aligns perfectly with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative - one of the flagship outcomes of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (COP21, December 2015).

Premier Jay Weatherill released details of the plan on Tuesday, March 14, saying the goal was delivering "reliable, affordable and clean" power.

The Andrews Government is also urging the Federal Government to kick in a few bob; well, more than a few.

"The most important problem, however, perhaps the real crisis is the difficulties faced by industrial companies who rely on gas as a feedstock or as an energy source", he said.

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