South Australian Premier, Mike Rann, has announced plans to set carbon emissions limits for new electricity production in South Australia so strict that it will effectively prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the State. MR Rann said that the limit will be introduced as a transitional measure pending the introduction of a national carbon policy.
At present, 34% of South Australia’s electricity is generated by two coal-fired power stations. Both of these use brown coal from dwindling resources at Leigh Creek. It is expected that they may convert to natural gas in the future.
South Australia is aiming for 33% of its electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2020. Currently, 18% of the State’s electricity comes from wind power generation and almost half is generated from gas.