The Coalition party room’s approval yesterday of 49 recommendations from the Chief Scientist’s review of Australia’s energy security will ensure clean energy is better integrated into the power system, but bipartisan support for a Clean Energy Target remains essential to drive new investment in electricity generation, the clean energy industry’s peak body said.
Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said new investment in power generation is the most effective way to put downward pressure on electricity bills, and ensure energy security as ageing generation continues to retire.
“The Finkel Review provides a strong roadmap for a clean, affordable and secure energy system. It’s very pleasing to see the federal government move swiftly to approve these recommendations, which include a range of market and regulatory reforms to better facilitate the transition to clean energy which is now underway,” Thornton said.
“However these reforms alone are not enough to manage the transition of the energy system and bring on the new investment in low-cost electricity generation which is essential to power the Australian economy.
“The Chief Scientist clearly showed that a suite of clean energy technologies supported by battery technology can ensure a secure energy system into the future. Substantial cost reductions this decade show these solutions can be delivered to Australian power consumers while minimising costs.
“Private investors are willing to invest in the new generation assets required, but only if policymakers provide clear long-term policy certainty. The flurry of recent policy proposals from state and federal governments risk detracting from the long-term market confidence needed for these investments,” he said.
Thornton said the strong and broad political and industry support for a Clean Energy Target can provide the investment confidence necessary for the large capital investment required from private investors in the coming decades.
“It will also be crucial to encourage innovation to increase the dispatchability of proven renewable energy technologies like wind and solar, integrating energy storage and exploring opportunities for increasing the role for hydro, bioenergy and solar thermal,” he said.
“Having a long-term, market-based and technology-neutral policy in place will be much more effective than the continued ad-hoc policy and regulatory change that has resulted in the current energy crisis for Australia.”