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Aus PM confirms energy discussion with Tesla’s Musk
Turnbull questions “intermittent” renewables as Musk offers quick fix
13 Mar 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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