The energy industry has welcomed the Federal Government’s desire to develop a technology-neutral national energy policy.
The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, supported the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s call for energy and carbon policy that can deliver reliable, least cost power to meet Australia’s emission reduction commitments.
“The energy industry also welcomes the Prime Minister’s commitment to work with the states to develop sustainable onshore gas development. Access to new gas reserves will be critical to meet Australia’s energy demand as we continue the transformation to lower emissions.
Mr Warren said the industry welcomed effective research in all new lower emissions technologies, but the industry had no plans to start building new coal fired power stations.
“Over the past decade major generators have shelved plans to develop new coal fired generation, as the 50 year life of the assets and their relatively high emissions profile made them uninvestable,” Mr Warren said.
“While lower emissions coal-fired power stations could be considered theoretically, in practice there is no current investment appetite to develop new coal-fired power in Australia.
“The industry’s investment focus has shifted to a combination of firm lower emissions gas generation, renewables and enabling technologies like storage.
“We have seen more than 2000 megawatts of firm generation exit the market in the last year, with no plan to replace it. This is becoming critical. However, the investment in generation urgently required by the industry cannot occur without credible and enduring national energy and climate policy.”
About the Australian Energy Council
The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.
Media contact Carl Kitchen 0401 691 342
The Australian Energy Council welcomes the release of the Energy Security Board's advice to Energy Ministers, and in particular its call for coordination and a common approach by jurisdictions but notes there is still much work to be done on the detail.
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