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Clean Energy Increase Depends on Transmission Upgrade

Jun 08, 2009 -AAP Finance News Wire

A multi-billion-dollar upgrade of transmission networks will be required for South Australia to deliver on new renewable energy targets, the Clean Energy Council says.

The council has welcomed the state government's plan to lift the energy drawn from renewable sources to 33 per cent by 2020.

But chief executive Matthew Warren said the expansion of clean energy was already constrained by transmission capacity to the big energy markets in the eastern states.

"South Australia's renewables future is promising and exciting," Mr Warren said.

"South Australia currently hosts more than 50 per cent of Australia's total wind generation capacity and has benefitted from its ability to harness roaring 40s winds.

"The state has significant potential to develop a range of other renewable energy technologies by utilising its world-class resources of sunshine, geothermal heat, waves and wind."

But Mr Warren said growth depended on a major upgrade of the electricity infrastructure between South Australia and the eastern states.

"These constraints threaten to hold back expansion of larger scale clean energy technologies which, in turn, have the potential to lower electricity prices in South Australia and deliver much needed employment growth in key regional areas," he said.

"The key challenge remains how this multi-billion dollar investment in upgrading Australia's energy infrastructure will be funded."

AAP tjd/goc/ 08-06 1240

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