Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is very enthusiastic about the Government’s National Energy Guarantee announced yesterday by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.
“The Government will accept the recommendation of the Energy Security Board (ESB) to address the most important factors around electricity of affordability and reliability while meeting our international commitments,” Mr Ramsey said.
“We have taken into account the catastrophic lessons from our South Australian experience which has left us with the most expensive and unreliable energy in the country, if not the world and reaffirms the strong case for the solar thermal with storage project at Port Augusta and the pumped hydro proposal at Cultana.”
“For almost five years I have been making the case that renewables must be accompanied by storage”, Mr Ramsey said. “This view has been backed by the Finkel review and now Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is giving us a path to that outcome.”
“The commitment to a minimum despatchable electricity matrix for retail companies will be decided on a state by state basis and because the market in SA has been so badly distorted by State Government policies it will necessarily mean that our minimum will be higher than a state like Queensland.”
“The NEG ensures we are not reliant on consumers to provide billions of dollars of subsidies for one sector of the electricity industry and will compel the retail sector to fashion purchasing to meet the three primary criteria of affordability, reliability and meeting our international commitments.”
Mr Ramsey said the National Energy Guarantee will provide certainty to investors by providing an incentive to produce ‘base load’ electricity. It also provides a mechanism to ensure investment in renewables, ensuring all of our eggs are not in one basket delivering a mix of technologies which will keep Australia in business and meet our international comittments.
“Electricity bills will be lower than currently forecast and lower than they would have been under a Clean Energy Target. By comparison the ESB has advised Labor’s policies nominating a 45% renewable target will cost the economy $66bn by 2030.”
“The National Energy Guarantee will lower electricity prices, make the system more reliable, encourage the right investment and reduce emissions without subsidies, taxes or trading schemes. It will provide cost-of-living relief for families and businesses are doing it tough.”
Unlike previous approaches, the Government is not picking winners, but levelling the playing field. Coal, gas, hydro and biomass will be rewarded for their dispatchability while wind, solar and hydro will be recognised as lower emissions technologies but will no longer be subsidised.
“The Guarantee builds on our existing energy policy which involves the retailers offering consumers a better deal, stopping the networks gaming the system, delivering more gas for Australians before it’s shipped offshore and the commencement of Snowy Hydro 2.0 to stabilise the system.”
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744
October 17, 2017