The clean energy industry has welcomed progress on further policy development for the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) today, but warned the process would now need to address the many concerns it has about the policy.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said the most important issue is whether the NEG can ultimately deliver new renewable energy investment that is crucial to reduce power prices.

“The clean energy industry will only support the NEG policy if it is designed and implemented in a way that ensures strong and sustained investment in renewable energy and energy storage,” Thornton said.

“A lot of analysis and work is now required to fill in the detail necessary to fully assess the policy and its potential. This will determine whether it is capable of delivering this new investment and able to secure support from the clean energy sector.”

Thornton said the clean energy sector had a variety of other concerns, including:

  • Whether the policy would be scalable to deliver higher levels of new investment to replace the closure of ageing coal generation, or to achieve higher emissions reduction targets in the future;
  • The potential impact on energy sector competition and subsequent impact on retail pricing;
  • Careful consideration of the interaction between the NEG and the complexities of the energy market, as well as the need for high levels of transparency and strong governance and decision-making that will ensure investor confidence in the policy, and;
  • The possibility of the NEG to stifle innovation in exciting new technologies, solutions and business models across the sector.

“We hope the progress today may usher in a new period of long-overdue cooperation between state and federal governments, the business community, the energy industry and a broad cross-section of other industries who are struggling to deal with high power prices,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely with the Energy Security Board and the COAG Energy Council.”