Australia’s biggest manufacturer, steel giant BlueScope, has controversially backed a clean energy target for the energy sector.
It is unreasonable to favour the provision of affordable and reliable energy over reducing carbon emissions, according to BlueScope chief executive Paul O’Malley. Therefore, he has called for politicians to get behind a clean energy target as a way to drive new investment in energy supply. This initiative is also supported by BHP’s president of mineral operation, Mike Henry.
However, O’Malley believes that renewable technologies are not necessarily the best way to achieve clean energy. According to O’Malley, the government needs to prioritise baseload coal-fired power generation or else risk the demise of Australia’s industrial base and the loss of jobs offshore.
“We need reliable and secure baseload power,” he told The Australian.
“There are problems with renewable technologies… They don’t provide baseload power.”
According to O’Malley, affordability for both gas and electricity needs to be addressed. He believes that if multi-party support is secured for the clean energy target, it will achieve affordability while also ensuring reliable baseload power.
He warned that the emissions intensity scheme, which is currently supported by Labor, will risk the future of manufacturing by driving power prices up. It will lead to the closure of coal plants around the country with little benefit to the environment, while also jeopardising the National Electricity Market, he said.
BlueScope supports the use of multiple technologies in the bid to reduce carbon emissions, rather than just renewables.