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Aus PM confirms energy discussion with Tesla’s Musk
Pollution solution: Tesla founder Elon Musk has offered to build the South Australian government a 100 megaWatt battery farm in under 100 days.
Turnbull questions “intermittent” renewables as Musk offers quick fix
13 March 2017
AUSTRALIAN prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed a discussion took
place with Elon Musk about South Australia’s energy sector, following the Tesla
founder’s bid to build the state a 100 megaWatt battery farm for $33 million in
under 100 days, in response to its widespread blackout last month.
Mr Musk last week used Twitter to offer the state government “the system
installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free” while
adding “that serious enough for you?”
He then confirmed talks with SA premier Jay Weatherill, having remarked that he
was “very impressed” and believed the “govt (sic) is clearly committed to a
smart, quick solution.”
While the SA government has since denied the discussion was about signing up to
Mr Musk’s proposal, Mr Turnbull has now weighed into the discussion with the
Californian-based Tesla billionaire founder.
“Thanks @elonmusk (Elon Musk) for a great in depth discussion today about
energy storage and it’s (sic) role in delivering affordable and reliable
electricity,” the Australian PM tweeted yesterday.
Replied Mr Musk: “You’re most welcome. Very exciting to discuss the future of
electricity. Renewables + storage arguably biggest disruption since DC to AC.”
Although Mr Turnbull thanked Mr Musk, adding “that’s why I asked our clean
energy finance agencies to focus on storage”, his following remark “vital now w
(with) generation more distributed & variable” could be viewed as a
disagreement with the Tesla founder.
In his February press club speech, the Liberal Coalition leader blasted Labor’s
plans to double the government’s renewable energy target by 2030 as part of a
“mindless rush into renewables.”
He also said coal-fired power stations cannot be replaced by “wind or solar
because they are intermittent.”
“As the world’s largest coal exporter, we (also) have a vested interest in
showing that we can provide both lower emissions and reliable base load power
with state-of-the-art clean coal-fired technology,” he added.
“The next incarnation of our national energy policy should be technology
agnostic. It’s security and cost that matters most, not how you deliver it. It’
s clear that the Coalition stands for cheaper energy.”
South Australia suffered its worst blackouts in decades as local energy
production totalling 750MW struggled to cope with the demands of a heatwave
that engulfed the state. New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria all produce
more than 6000MW, while Western Australia numbers approximately 4500MW.
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