The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) consultation paper released this week, should start the dialogue on the hard policy issues needed to overcome the chronic long-term uncertainty confronting energy investors, the Clean Energy Council has said.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said the consultation paper presented a good opportunity to commence serious consultation and design of the policy.

“While investment has been booming recently behind the 2020 Renewable Energy Target, the lack of a coherent and bipartisan national policy puts further growth in doubt over the long term,” Thornton said.

“The consultation paper has begun to provide some much-needed policy detail and we will work through it in depth over the coming days.

“Our industry’s broad position on the NEG remains the same. We are open-minded about its potential but many questions remain, including the fundamental question about whether the policy signals will be able to underpin new investment in clean energy and address issues with market concentration.

“Strong and clear emission abatement settings will be essential to provide the necessary level of incentive for new clean energy projects, which will also ensure new power supply to drive down wholesale power prices.

“Ultimately the enduring success of any national energy policy will require not just careful policy settings but the support of the state governments and the federal Labor Opposition. We encourage all parties to consult in good faith towards the development of a workable policy that will deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy over the long term,” Thornton said.

“The clean energy industry is looking forward to further developing its views on the consultation paper and working closely with the Energy Security Board and the Federal Government.”