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These Twisted Transmission Towers Tell The Real Story Of The SA Blackout

Was it the wind? Or the windmills? :thinking face emoji:

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Around 75,000 homes in South Australia were left without power overnight, after huge storms smashed through the state. Photos emerged of the transmission towers bent and twisted by the weather.

Despite the images of towers turned into licorice, people quickly blamed the fact that South Australia gets 40% of its energy from renewables.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said SA's blackout was a "real wake-up call" about renewable energy, One Nation was blaming Labor and the Greens for the blackout and senator Nick Xenophon called the situation a "disgrace" and said he wants an independent inquiry into renewable energy.

The storm was the worst South Australia has experienced in more than 50 years and while renewable energy became the cool thing to blame, here's another photo of a transmission tower looking like a cow eating in a paddock.

Many critics of South Australia's energy market seized on a Grattan Institute report published earlier this week that suggested the state's speed in shifting to renewables could "threaten" the power supply.

BuzzFeed News spoke to the author of the report, Tony Wood, on Thursday. He laughed when asked whether South Australia's renewable energy was to blame for the statewide blackout.

"Unless there's something I've missed, [yesterday has] got nothing to do with renewable energy, it's got everything to do with wild weather," said Wood.

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Wood pointed to the fact 22 transmission towers were felled during the storm, littering South Australia's usually picturesque countryside with dozens of metal carcasses.

"You can have a coal powered power station in Port Augusta producing power, but it wouldn’t have mattered if the power lines go down," he said.

"If that happens you can’t get the power to the people."

The Climate Council's John Connor has also been aggressive in pushing back on people blaming renewable energy, calling it "irresponsible and misleading".

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"Blaming this extraordinary outage on the state’s renewable energy generators, as some people jumped to do well before any facts were known, is both irresponsible and misleading," said Connor.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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