South Australia will be modelling of alternative energy policies after the COAG Energy Council voted against a proposal to model a Clean Energy Target and an Energy Intensity Scheme in parallel to the National Energy Guarantee.
Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis moved the amendment, supported by the ACT, in an effort to ensure the Council could make a fully informed decision next year on which mechanism is the best to drive lower emissions while lowering price and increasing reliability.
Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said, “What we saw today was the Federal Government insisting that the only mechanism that will be considered is the one that is palatable to Tony Abbott.
If you truly believed the NEG was the best option to drive down power prices, why wouldn’t you agree for it to be compared against other mechanisms? The answer is that the NEG is in truth the third best option. That simply isn’t enough and can’t be supported by South Australia.
To proceed the NEG would require unanimous support at COAG, so this policy is either years away, or won’t happen at all. What we want for South Australia is energy self-sufficiency, more competition from renewables and to break up the market power of the big gentailers created by the privatisation of ETSA. A NEG would do nothing to achieve those goals.
What’s clear from the Energy Security Board’s report into the NEG is that it stifles investment in renewables, keep dying, uneconomic coal power stations alive longer, and enriches the generators with the most market power.”
Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Commonwealth voted against commissioning the further work through the Energy Security Board.
Koutsantonis said there had still been no explanation from the Commonwealth as to why a CET was no longer acceptable and that a NEG would stifle investment in renewables, extend the life of dying, inefficient and uneconomic coal power stations, and entrench the monopoly behaviour of large gentailers.