Alan Finkel warns over lack of action on climate

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Australian chief scientist Alan Finkel will today profess his support for a clean energy target, which he believes will have the lowest impact on power prices compared to other schemes.

According to Finkel, doing nothing about climate change will end up being the most expensive option.

He will be recommending that the operators of all large power generators be given three years’ notice before closing a facility, in order to avoid the loss of baseload power and increased prices that occurred when Victorian plant Hazelwood was abruptly closed. He will also recommend that new energy generation investment utilise either batteries or back-up generation capacity, in order to ensure reliable energy supply.

According to The Australian Financial Review, Finkel considers the Low Emissions Target (LET) a preferable option to an Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS). This is because under an EIS there would potentially be a faster phase out of coal-fired power, which would threaten energy security as gas would be too expensive to replace coal and renewable storage is still in its infancy.

Big energy users such as BlueScope Steel and BHP have also expressed support for the LET.