South Australia’s renewables-heavy electricity market has been turned upside down, moving from importing power to exporting it, and from having some the most expensive wholesale prices in the country to having some of the cheapest.

And all that appears to be a result of one gas deal secured by a generator that was blamed by many as a major cause of a blackout in South Australia in February.

Dylan McConnell, an energy expert from the University of Melbourne who produced the analysis, says the switch is a result of the closure of the huge Hazelwood coal power station in Victoria. But the delay between its closure in March and the extra generation in South Australia coming on in July shows the need for a more orderly transition from fossil fuels, with more notice of closure required.

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