National, market based approach key to SA energy future

The energy industry has welcomed the SA Liberal energy plan’s commitment to a national, market based approach in its policy announcement today.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the proposed shift away from a state-based Renewable Energy Target towards a national approach was consistent with the recommendations of the recent Finkel Review into Australia’s energy system.

“The SA Government shouldn’t need to support new energy investment if we get the national policy settings right.  That is money that could be used more effectively in the state,” Mr Warren said.

“For the same reason, the industry does not support committing government money towards building any key energy infrastructure, including an interconnector to NSW.  This type of asset should be developed as an outcome of a carefully considered national energy strategy.

“Without a national plan, an interconnector to NSW could make electricity market conditions worse in SA, not better.  Electricity interconnection has an important role to play, but these are expensive, strategic assets that need to be carefully considered.”

Mr Warren said the SA Liberals decision to opt out of a government-built and owned gas generator in SA by 2019 was likely to encourage more private investment in new generation capacity by removing a major investment risk.

“SA needs more firm generation, but once the government steps in to the market it tends to chill private sector investment.”

 

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 691342