High-end renewable project headed for SA

South Australia’s ambition to become a global hub for renewables has attracted a chain big names including Neoen, SolarReserve, Elon Musk of Tesla, Sanjeev Gupta, Carnegie, Sonnen the German battery maker as well as Ross Garnaut of Zen Energy.

Sonnen Renewable Project

The latest renewable project by Sonnen will be to set up a battery manufacturing plant in Adelaide. The plant is expected to deliver hundreds of jobs while producing 10,000 systems every year for both the Australian and Asia-Pacific markets – a stepping stone on their road-map to push the traditional utility business model into extinction.

According to Chris Parratt the head of Australian operations, the company is set to build the manufacturing facility within a period of six to nine months, and is already looking for the most ideal site in South Australia for its national office and storage battery plant.

Premier Jay Weatherill has described the Sonnen manufacturing plant project as a coup that is clearly long overdue and which complements his vision for renewable energy.

And again, the renewable project will create hundreds of new jobs in a state that is now boosting employment rates in the country.

“[Sonnen is] leading to the jobs of the future,” he said.

Electric Vehicle Incentives

The renewable project announcement coincided with the state’s resolve to waive stamp duty on the purchase of electric vehicles or zero emission vehicles and further providing free registration for the five-year tenure of Labor’s re-election.

This pledge has been hailed by many as a smart move designed to encourage more Australians to invest in environmentally friendly vehicles.

The EV incentives form part of the Weatherill government’s commitment to decarbonise the state’s transport sector and support Adelaide in its quest to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city.

Once the proposed incentives are affected, South Australians who acquire a $40,000 electric vehicle will save up to $2,155 in registration and stamp duty over a period of five years.

While announcing this latest proposal, the SA Environment Minister Ian Hunter noted, “Our natural environment is our state’s most important ongoing asset, and Labor is committed to protecting our ‘clean and green’ reputation so that South Australia remains a great place to live.

“Driving an electric vehicle is a good environmental choice, and with Labor’s new incentives, it also makes good financial sense.

“Minimising our pollution and greenhouse gas emissions is an environmental imperative. If we can encourage more South Australians to drive cars that have a low impact on our environment, our state will continue to be a world leader when it comes to taking strong steps to combat climate change and its impacts.”

Emissions from the transport sector contribute about 35 percent of total emissions in Adelaide, with 90 per cent emanating from private passenger cars.

The Party also plans to push the federal government to abolish existing tariff barriers that apply to electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles in a bid to encourage more Australians to switch to these kinds of vehicles.

South Australia has installed over 100 EV charging stations in specific spots across the state, including about 50 Tesla charging points.

Behyad Jafari, the CEO of Electric Vehicle Council noted that the recent announcement is a sure indication of South Australia’s unrivaled leadership in shaping the future of Australia’s energy industry.

“Electric vehicles are the future of the transport industry and it’s clear by the announcement that the SA Labor government understands the opportunity that presents.

“By encouraging the initial market for electric vehicles, South Australia puts itself in the driver’s seat to attract investment and create new jobs.

“South Australians will see an immediate benefit in driving cars that are much cheaper to run, bringing down the cost of dropping the kids off at school and getting to work.

“This is a wakeup call for all governments across Australia — it’s time to take meaningful action on electric vehicles.”

The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.