Ai Group encourages registrations of interest in national energy program

The Australian Industry (Ai) Group is welcoming calls for registrations of interest in a new Australian government energy program.

Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said the federal government’s call for registrations of interest is another step towards the design of a program to underwrite new investments in Australian electricity generation.

“As the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has pointed out, there is room for some targeted and well-designed underwriting initiatives to overcome specific market failures in the energy market and the government is exploring the range of ways these objectives can be achieved.

“The government remains open minded about the design of the program and how it may change over time. Notwithstanding its list of ‘indicative eligibility criteria’ and ‘indicative project merit criteria’, the government remains open to the eligibility criteria for participation in the program and to the project merit criteria that will be applied.

READ: Monash researchers create ultra-low energy devices at the flick of a switch

“While the details will need to be firmed up before the program commences, given the compressed timetable and limited opportunities for consultation to date, at this early stage the lack of detail is both understandable and desirable,” said Willox.

Ai Group previously indicated its concern that the selection of projects should be independent of political influence and closely linked to and coordinated with the existing energy market regulatory arrangements.

“Further details on the decision-making processes to be adopted in the program’s design, and their transparency and oversight and will need to be provided if there is to be confidence in the processes announced,” he said.

Willox said this step to find ways to provide more certainty for investors in generation capacity is a move towards the greater certainty that is needed over energy and climate policy that is necessary to put a strong foundation in place for both energy suppliers and users.