As heatwaves and storm damage to interconnectors between SA and VIC spark blackout fears in Victoria and forces the Portland Aluminium Smelter to go offline, energy experts have offered the following comments.
Dylan McConnell, researcher, Climate & Energy College, The University of Melbourne, said: "The energy disruption resulting from storm damage to SA-VIC interconnectors is an example of how extreme weather, intensified by climate change, is disrupting critical services and infrastructure. This incident underscores the urgent need to decarbonise our energy system and invest in low-carbon solutions like renewable energy, pumped hydro, energy storage, and demand response if we want to minimise the chance of such costly and potentially dangerous energy disruptions in the future."
Bjorn Sturmberg, Research Leader, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program, ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science said: “The causes of tonight's situation in Victoria are record heatwaves across many states and a reported storm taking out the interconnector between SA and Vic. Such extreme weather is being made worse by climate change. What Vic (and NSW) needs right now is more power generation to fill the void created by old coal power stations running unreliably and inefficiently in the heat (or being retired). The cheapest and fastest projects to build new generation are wind and solar farms. This is what SA, which has been pumping renewable energy to VIC, has done, and this is where Vic and NSW should be focusing their attention: building more renewables.”
Vanessa Petrie, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions, said: "The hugely damaging disruption to Portland Aluminium Smelter is a serious blow for business and workers. It highlights the consequences of the absolute lack of a credible national climate and energy policy or transition plan to shift business away from unreliable, expensive coal and gas towards affordable renewable energy. For an industry sector that is competitive, resilient and thriving, we have to have support for industry to be fully powered by renewable electricity."
For more interviews - Vai, 0452 290 082 / email@example.com