Turnbull’s approach to power: serving coal corporations, not community

20.06.17 By
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Climate Council energy experts Andrew Stock and Greg Bourne have today labelled the Federal Government’s national energy policy announcement as “baffling”.

“Government charged the Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, to go through an extensive considered policy process to address national challenges of security, affordability and emissions reduction in electricity. He came back with politically pragmatic recommendations,” said Andrew Stock, an energy expert with more than 40 years experience.

“A week later, just days after Coalition backbench briefings from the Minerals Council promoting new coal, government policy announcements on power generation seem to be more about satisfying its own right wing and the Minerals Council’s self serving agenda than the community. ”

“Energy policy should be developed for the benefit of the Australian community, not the Minerals Council.”

“This is a classic case of vested interests directing the government to serve their own agenda. Such “shoot from the hip” policy on power generation will not serve the interests of Australians. It will increase the very policy uncertainty that has undermined investment for a decade.”

“The reality, as Dr Finkel, pointed out is that renewable energy is now the cheapest source of power. Everyone agrees that we need to replace our ageing coal fired fleet and the numbers tell us that renewable power is dramatically more cost effective than new coal,” said Greg Bourne, former CEO of BP Australasia.

“Policy should not be technologically agnostic. Coal is expensive and remains emissions intensive. Renewable energy with storage is clean, cheap and secure. The best outcome for Australians is renewable power. ”

“The market will see through this charade. Unless the government stumps up some huge grant for another coal power station and a long-term contract at inflated prices, it is very unlikely that anything will happen.

“In the meantime, this continues market uncertainty, delaying the building of new cleaner sources of power that would put downwards pressure on electricity prices.”

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