The potential of renewable energy: How can we use it to our advantage?

Earlier this month in collaboration with the University of Adelaide we hosted a workshop that delved into the potential of renewable energy and discussed how we can harness this to benefit South Australia.

RAA’s Ben Flink, Senior Manager Business Innovation, facilitated the session and guest speakers provided us with some inspiration, Prof. Zaiping Guo, University of Adelaide, Owen Sharpe, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group and Prof. Mark Dyer, The University of Waikato.

Ideas identified at the workshop will inform our 2022 work plan and advocacy as we elevate conversations and influence policies that accelerate the energy transition to a decarbonised future.

Short to mid-term ideas include:

  • brand positioning – promote our state’s existing achievements (energy policy, innovations) with confidence interstate and globally, ‘SA – the Renewable State’, educate others about our success
  • amending procurement policies (government, business, and industry) to support shift to lower carbon emissions – stop funding non-renewable initiatives
  • boosting incentives to accelerate uptake of EVs including taxis (e.g. reduce airport tariffs, use of bus lanes) and transport fleets
  • scale up hydrogen for network blending, industry, and transport
  • implement a 1000% by 2030 renewables policy
  • self-sufficient public housing – identify immediate test sites
  • accelerate policies to achieve more sustainable and energy efficient homes and buildings
  • better educate consumers about energy usage at home through smart apps

Ideas for the mid to longer term include:

  • develop longer life batteries and battery recycling facility as a first mover jurisdiction advantage
  • co-locate electrolysis with heavy industries (2025 plus), develop hydrogen export industry (post domestic market implementation)
  • electrify all public transport and offer ‘frequent flyer’ type rewards for passengers (loyalty incentives could be activated immediately)
  • ‘Strategic Innovation Precincts’ offering free electricity (co-located with solar power plant / VPP) for energy intensive startups (e.g. for advanced manufacturing, biomedical and circular economy innovations) and paired with venture capital investment
  • commercial scale virtual power plants when economically viable (2025 plus)

If you have any further ideas or comments please contact our Policy Manager, Jennie Wilkinson.