Renewable Energy | QUESTION TIME


Mr BASHAM (Finniss) (14:35): My question is to the Minister for Energy and Mining. Can the minister please update the house on the opportunities to export renewable energy from South Australia?

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (14:35): Thank you very much to the member for Finniss, who, like so many of our members of parliament, is focused on what is best for South Australia.

This house is aware that the interconnector to New South Wales, which we intend in partnership with industry in New South Wales to have built, will be an opportunity to export our renewable energy into New South Wales. As well as that, we are looking at opportunities to export into other countries in the world.

We have abundant opportunity to produce renewable energy in South Australia, primarily from sun and wind, but other ways of doing it are emerging as well. The previous Labor government didn’t think about how to connect that opportunity to consumers’ needs, and that has led to blackouts, high prices and all sorts of harm to consumers. We are addressing that as a government, but simultaneously we are looking at the opportunity that that sometimes abundant renewable energy provides for us.

We have the opportunity in South Australia to use that often overabundant and incredibly cheap energy—in fact, nearly zero marginal cost of production—to create a new international export opportunity through hydrogen. There is potentially a $1.7 billion opportunity for South Australia by selectively using this clean, renewable energy to create—

Mr Hughes interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Giles was on two warnings and keeps interjecting. He can leave for the rest of question time, thank you.

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: We have an opportunity to use this clean, renewable energy—

The SPEAKER: Member for Giles, that’s you.

An honourable member: You said Lee.

The SPEAKER: Sorry, for clarification, the member for Giles can leave.

The honourable member for Giles having withdrawn from the chamber:

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: We have this fantastic opportunity to use this clean, often overabundant, very cheap, renewable energy to create electricity and to use that electricity to turn water into hydrogen. It is a fact that it can happen. We are working with partners like the CSIRO to figure out how can we do that in a large-scale way.

We have engaged with other nations’ delegations that have come to South Australia, and some of our Department for Energy and Mining staff have gone to other countries—countries like Japan, like Germany, like South Korea, like the United States—countries that have set themselves specific targets for the consumption of clean energy, and very likely the consumption of clean energy through hydrogen, which they cannot produce for themselves because they don’t have the sun, the wind and other renewable energy generation opportunities that we have.

This is a massive opportunity to create a $1.7 billion economic benefit for our state, potentially a 2,800 uplift opportunity in employment for us to use our resources to turn water into hydrogen, quite likely to use ammonia as the transport opportunity to ship it overseas. We have partnered with the CSIRO to be a partner, at the Japanese government’s invitation, in the Green Ammonia Consortium.

This puts the South Australian government on the world stage when it comes to being at the forefront of this technology and we will take this opportunity as being the very, very best opportunity for all South Australians and a cleaner planet.