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Debunking the ‘unreliable renewables’ myth in South Australia

Don’t let the media or Uncle Joe fool you – SA is steaming ahead whilst our other states lag behind, encumbered by the full weight of their coal dependence.

The media is a powerful beast. It has the power to dramatically influence public opinion. A perfect example is the perception of South Australia’s energy network. SA proudly boasts a high percentage of renewables - 55% of overall generation, in fact. But somehow it has become the laughing stock of Australia’s uninformed punters (in some circles, of course).

“Renewables are the future? LOL just look at South Australia” – Everyone’s Uncle Joe
“SA black outs? But I thought they had a BIG BATTERY? ROFL” – Random commentator on Facebook with the Aussie flag as their profile picture.

They say, ‘never let the facts get in the way of a good story.’ But we don’t listen to those people. Here are the facts:

  1. South Australia has been punching well above Australia’s weight in responding to energy challenges, particularly during storms and bushfires.  
  2. SA’s ability to quickly and efficiently stabilise the grid continues to increase and ShineHub is proud to be a part of this brighter future.

On January 31st a major transmission line went down between Victoria and South Australia, as a result of storms. This meant that SA was effectively ‘islanded’ from the national grid, meaning they couldn’t pull power from other states as needed. But, they were quick to respond and bounced back quickly due to the large number of batteries and gas generators they had to rely on.

We are in the process of registering ShineHub’s SA Virtual Power Plant in the market for backup power to the grid (the FCAS market). Once approved, we will be able to add our customers’ batteries into the mix to support the grid in these situations. 

A renewables-rich future is a marathon, not a sprint. South Australia is a trailblazer in this space. Like all ‘first attempts’ there are always going to be teething problems, but don’t let the media or Uncle Joe fool you – SA is steaming ahead whilst our other states lag behind, encumbered by the full weight of their coal dependence.  

For more on this topic, check out my interview on Sky News. or watch the highlights below

Alex Georgiou
Alex is a home energy expert with experience across virtually every area of the industry, ranging from energy efficiency and smart home gear to the latest solar and battery technologies. As co-founder of ShineHub, he is responsible for delivering the best digital experience in the industry for customers as well as managing customer-facing communications.
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