Power prices set to rise without coherent federal energy policy

by Tiffany Paczek
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The clean energy industry says the Federal Government’s decision to abandon the National Energy Guarantee – and walk away from any attempt to deliver an effective energy and climate policy – will chill investment in new power generation and further increase power prices for consumers.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton says clean energy is now the lowest-cost form of investment in new power generation and does not need new subsidy, but it does need policy certainty.

“The clean energy industry is disappointed that the government has walked away from the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The NEG was no one’s preferred option and the proposed emissions reduction target was basically useless. But many people across the business, energy and community sectors worked together in good faith with the states and Commonwealth to turn it into a potentially workable policy that could be scaled up and provide policy certainty for investors,” Thornton says.

“Abandoning any attempt at long-term energy policy leaves the energy market in a state of further chaos. It will slow investment and result in power prices increasing again. The government’s own modelling claimed that household power bills will be $150 a year higher without the NEG.

“Record levels of new investment are currently flowing into energy generation on the back of the Renewable Energy Target, but this target will soon be met. Policy certainty is essential to ensure investment continues beyond 2020.

“Until the Commonwealth Government can deliver enduring and coherent energy and climate policy, state governments will be critical to ensuring policy certainty and new investment that delivers low power prices for all Australians.

“The clean energy sector is working actively to support state and territory governments to fill this decade-long policy void and provide much-needed investment confidence beyond 2020,” Thornton says.

Image: 123RF’s pixinoo © 123RF.com  

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