Here’s how the South Australia blackout could cost you

In case you missed it, South Australia was plunged into darkness last week, with a severe storm front causing a

In case you missed it, South Australia was plunged into darkness last week, with a severe storm front causing a mass power outage in the state.

Read more: BREAKING: Entire state of South Australia without power

Following this, there was plenty of blame being thrown around, with the use of renewable energy being questioned.

Today, state and territory energy ministers are set to discuss whether to hold a review of Australia’s electricity market at a snap meeting in Melbourne with the Federal Government.

The meeting was called by Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg who said the meeting would see briefings from experts discussing the practical aspects of incorporating large-scale wind farms into the electricity grid.

There is expected to be discussion about whether a broader review into Australia’s energy market is needed — a topic likely to trigger a brawl between Federal and State Governments.

Labor-led State and Territory Governments say they will not be changing their renewable energy targets, despite the Federal Government calling for a nationally-consistent approach.

That includes the ACT Government, which set a 100 per cent target for sourcing energy from renewable sources by 2020.

NT Environment Minister Simon Corbell said the target enjoyed bipartisan support from the Canberra Liberals.

“So there’s not even agreement on Malcolm Turnbull’s own side when you look at state and territory parties when it comes to an ambitious and realistic and achievable renewable energy target,” he said.

He warned any major review of the system could reveal the Federal Government regulators have not kept up with technological advances.

“Technology is rapidly changing, wind is the cheapest form of new-build generation in Australia, and globally, and the cost of solar and the emergence of battery storage in households and businesses is going to transform the electricity market,” he said.

“We need to re-write the architecture of the National Electricity Market, to prepare for these changes, and that will need more than some grandstanding on the part of Josh Frydenberg at a one-minute-to-midnight meeting.”

SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said any review should be conducted by an independent panel and not by the Federal Government’s energy regulators, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian Energy Market Commission.

Mr Koutsantonis said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should look at his Government’s own regulators to ensure they were doing enough on energy security.

“They’re barking at us to keep the lights on, well, if you read his own legislation, he’d know that actually it’s the Commonwealth Government that’s responsible for the Australian Energy Market Operation and the Australian Energy Market Commission and the National Electricity Market,” he said.

“So, if he’s saying keep the lights on and the lights aren’t on, it’s his fault.”

The main concern of this review occurring is that every state may follow in South Australia’s footsteps with high electricity costs.

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Mack Carson  

    I don’t know about the rest of you. But I’ve been using Solar Panels and Wind since they came out back in the ’70’s.
    On Yachts, Caravans and home
    My home has 4.2Kw and runs house completely Air cond incl in daylight hrs. (Not all at once obviously)
    that incl pool pumps too.
    As do a lot of my mates after watching mine over the yrs.

    My running costs for total power. supply/maint, everything. this yr. was
    returns from power co. $640
    one 1\4 part payment $67 hence $570 cash in hand after running home and 8×4 pool

    When I started the returns were $980ish with $40/100 part pay on wet 1\4.
    Same usage. Difference is just increases in power supply costing from power co’s.

    I’m in process of adding more panels with a battery bank (incremently) over pool deck area.
    Then increasing batt bank later to cover house usage.

    I priced a system for pool recently.
    SOME company’s now.Are installing solar on you roof. to cover your demands AT NO COST.
    They just need panel area for their federal solar volumes?.

    And for the pleasure of you letting them. FOR NO COST.
    YOU get a reduced power bill.
    By what I didn’t get that far. but anything is a bonus.
    Energex I think it was….

    People should inquire.
    Anything that reduces running costs is worth checking out.
    Plus this gives added advantage of extra cooling over lounge and main Bedroom
    (In our house) Noticably so.

    I paid $16.4k for my Solar plus evac tubes water.
    Paid itself off in 8yrs.
    All free Power and water nowadays.
    Plus I’ve just binned one of my original BP panels. 38yrs old.
    So Apart from replacing Inverter occasionally (Has 15 yr wty)
    I’m looking forward for a long life with minimum electricity costs.

  2. Rhonda De Stefano  

    Renewables are becoming cheaper all the time, as is small scale storage, so that is one cost that is decreasing. More savings could be made by decentralising generation (homes with off grid storage and enough days of autonomy built into their system, plus neighbourhood microgrids), which would reduce the costs of poles, wires and transformers to transport electrical energy vast distances. Certainly there are battery replacement costs, and some allowance for inverters, however the lives of both devices are extending as technology improves and they are a cost born by the home owner or the group running a local microgrid. The cost of not using renewables (extreme weather events), is never really talked about by pollies who don’t like renewables. The sum of all this points to the statement that “renewable energy solutions will cost everyone more” being only true if their implementation is poor and a complete falsehood if their integration into our energy mix is done properly!

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