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Uniquely placed for future energy markets

No matter the energy, South Australia has it. That was the message from South Australian Agent General Bill Muirhead AM to industry and thought leaders at the Office’s inaugural Energy Roundtable.

Hosted at investment advisory Moelis & Co. overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral, the group were treated to insightful presentations from Lead Author and Head of EMEA at Bloomberg New Energy Finance Seb Henbest and former Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Premier of South Australia Mike Rann AC, CNZM.

South Australia has had a long history of energy exploration and development of international significance. The State has some of Australia’s most mature oil and gas fields which are still supplying the domestic market, and offshore fields in the Great Australian Bight offering a new frontier in deep sea exploration.

As Mike referenced in his speech, South Australia was the first Australian jurisdiction to facilitate the uptake of wind energy through regulatory reforms and encourage rooftop solar panel uptake with feed-in tariffs. Now common place throughout Australia, it was South Australia that led the charge over ten years ago. This mantel is now energy storage, which has already seen the 100MW Tesla battery built in the State, and the announcement from German industrial giant Sonnen that Adelaide will be their Australian HQ and centre for battery assembly.

Looking toward the future, the State has also invested in several hydrogen projects, which offer great potential in decarbonising heat, power and mobility applications.

In his presentation, Mike touched on the role of Government in transitioning energy use and behaviours. He stated that it should stay away from heavy-handed approaches and re-nationalisation,sticking instead to pulling on appropriate policy levers and updating rules and regulations that can better facilitate investment in future energy technologies.

Seb’s Bloomberg New Energy Outlook is fast becoming a benchmark in the industry, rivalling established outlooks. Seb noted that a tipping point for battery and solar uptake is not far off, costs will continue to decline with better manufacturing experience, economies of scale and technological innovation. Seb expects the learning rate of solar pv modules – the cost reduction per doubling of deployed capacity – to continue to be strong and that capital expenditure for pv plants will hence halve in the next 17 years.  Battery manufacturing, largely driven by capacity in China, is set to increase from 131GWh per year in 2018 to 400GWh per year in just three years.

As Mike referenced, there is a world of opportunity to be had in South Australia. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Joe Doleschal-Ridnell on 07428 416 841. For further information on South Australia’s energy sector and how we can assist your business please click here.

The Energy Roundtable generated a great deal of interest from the sector and the Office hopes to explore this event forum for a range of different sectors in the future.