8 February 2024

Public forums to discuss Upper Spencer Gulf renewable energy plans

| James Day
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An aerial view of Whyalla above the sea.

South Australia is among the country’s biggest users of renewable energy. Photo: Whyalla City Council.

Later this month, three large public forums will be held in the Upper Spencer Gulf, as part of the South Australia Government’s major economic summit outlining its renewable energy plans.

South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas will host across three evenings, providing the public a chance to ask questions about what the State Government is calling a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to lead the world in renewable hydrogen energy, green steel and copper production.

Throughout the summit, major announcements regarding the economic future of Upper Spencer Gulf will be made – a region expected to contribute thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the state in decades to come.

READ ALSO Contracts signed for $12.7 million Aboriginal Elders Village project in Adelaide’s south

Premier Malinauskas said this wasn’t years down the track, the work was happening now.

“This Major Economic Summit is a chance to outline the scale of the opportunity before us and speak directly with the communities which will be central to this endeavour,” he said.

“We have what the world wants, what the world demands. This is our moment to drive a new era of prosperity for decades to come.”

South Australia’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan is set to be discussed, along with the government’s exploration of the Northern Water Supply Project.

The premier said the large-scale desalination plant and pipeline network would realise the state’s full potential of hydrogen energy and also unlock copper and critical mineral deposits.

READ ALSO State of the Regions report highlights challenges ahead for regional Australia

According to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, energy use decreased in South Australia from 2021 to 2022.

The substantial replacement of gas-fired electricity generation with wind and solar, reduced 2 per cent of consumption (thermal losses) in that sector. However, most of the state’s end use sectors’ consumption still increased.

Prior to each event there will be a free community barbecue, but those wishing to attend must register. Details are listed below:

  • Whyalla – Sunday 25 February at the Westland Hotel Motel
    • 4:45 pm: Free community barbecue
    • 5:30 pm: Public forum
  • Port Augusta – Monday 26 February at the Central Oval Community Sporting Hub
    • 5:30 pm: Free community barbecue
    • 6:15 pm: Public forum
  • Port Pirie – Tuesday 27 February at the Port Pirie Sports Precinct
    • 4:15 pm: Free community barbecue
    • 5 pm: Public forum.

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