South Australia should position itself as a nuclear and renewable energy powerhouse, according to the state government’s chief entrepreneur.

Jim Whalley says that small nuclear reactors could be used to power population centres throughout the state, The Advertiser reports.

Mr Whalley was appointed as the state’s first chief entrepreneur by Premier Steven Marshall, he was given the job to reposition SA as a centre for innovation.

“I think energy is a real natural advantage we should have. I’d like to see us looking at providing free energy,” Mr Whalley told The Advertiser.

The move to providing free electricity would make the state more attractive to energy-hungry industries, according to Whalley.

However, the Marshall government previously withdrew support from a Labor proposal to store nuclear waste in the state.

The state’s energy and mining minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan has previously said that large nuclear power stations were not economically viable.