I watch with interest today the release of the AEMO Forecast of Supply. Once again it highlights the need for a strategic and managed approach to the increase in renewables to address climate change.
Currently Australia is investing twice the investment in renewables per head than any other country in the world. Renewables are now cheaper to develop and generate power than any new fossil fuel.
The biggest problem is around the stability of the grid and the need for 24/7 baseload generation. As we develop new storage solutions such as pumped hydro, battery storage and hydrogen we must maintain our current assets including coal and gas.
We can also only develop new storage solutions at a pace we can afford. Electricity is one of the main components of a household budget, and low energy costs are important to the majority of the community. The life of generation assets is measure in 30 to 50 years. Assets at the end of their life will provide cheap electricity as the capital cost have been paid off.
To jump to renewables without addressing baseload and grid stability issue as has previously occurred in South Australia and Victoria is naive. The Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor today said “the Victorian State Government had created unnecessary risk to the affordability and reliability of the national energy market”
This week the Coalition for Conservation hosted an event at the NSW Parliament with Hon Matt Kean Minister Energy and Environment, Tim Jarvis AM Explorer, Scientist and Climate; and John Grimes CEO Smart Energy Council. The strategic and managed approach proposed by the NSW Minister was applauded and needs to be replicate across the Country.
Our approach needs to include;
- Ensuring we need and beat our Paris agreement commitments.
- Remove all subsidies out of the Energy Market.
- Provide equity grants / loans for new technologies and/or market gaps identified in the AMEO Electricity Statement of Opportunities.
- Provide electricity bill discounts for properties with a minimal amount of battery storage.
- Increase the outlook of the AMEO “Electricity Statement of Opportunities” out 20 years from the current 10 years.
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