Australian PM attacks renewables after blackout

South Australia is recovering after it suffered a blackout on Wednesday due to extreme weather. The entire state was left without power overnight as two tornados, thunderstorms and strong winds destroyed […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

South Australia is recovering after it suffered a blackout on Wednesday due to extreme weather.

The entire state was left without power overnight as two tornados, thunderstorms and strong winds destroyed around 80,000 lighting strikes, 22 transmission towers and damaged power generation plants.

According to the regional government, power has been restored in more than 90% of homes. However, some households in rural areas could be cut off for days.

It has offered relief grants of up to A$700 per household to those who have suffered a loss or injury due to the power cut.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the incident was a “wake-up call” to ensure energy security and blamed Labour governments for setting up “aggressive” renewable targets.

He believes some state governments have set very “unrealistic” green targets and called on energy ministers to agree towards a national renewable target.

Mr Turnbull said: “There is no doubt that a heavy reliance on intermittent renewables by which in South Australia we are mostly talking about wind, does place very different strains and pressures on a grid than reliance on traditional base-load power.

“I regret to say that a number of the state Labour governments have over the years set priorities and renewable targets that are extremely aggressive, extremely unrealistic and have paid little or no attention to energy security.”