This discussion paper outlines the proposed framework, timelines and high-level process for developing new renewable energy policies to be included within the Planning and Design Code (Code). These proposed changes will be consulted on from October when the Code is released for consideration. The key changes proposed are explored in this document.
Our new State Planning Policies for South Australia emphasise the key role of planning in the establishment of energy infrastructure and the need to provide policies that allow for creative and innovative responses to energy demand and supply, while addressing potential impacts on communities and the environment.
Renewable technologies provide sources of energy that have much lower environmental impacts than conventional energy technologies. They play a crucial role in reducing global carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change, as well as helping to provide long-term energy security by lowering our reliance on non-renewables such as coal and gas.
Today, wind, solar and pumped-hydro are firmly established as the three main pillars of renewable energy supply.
South Australia is widely regarded as a national leader in the renewable energy sector, largely due to our enabling planning policy environment and natural conditions and landscape. In 2018, renewable energy generation from wind and solar sources reached 51.2% of total electricity generation. Previously, the Australian Energy Market Operator projected South Australia’s renewable power could account for 73% of the state’s total power consumption by 2020/21.
Our existing planning policies now need to be updated to keep pace with new and more efficient energy infrastructure. The introduction of the Code provides us with the opportunity to update and improve upon our successful policies to reflect new forms of energy generation, storage and distribution and provide improved guidance regarding the intensity, location and impacts of these developments.