State and federal Energy Ministers have made steady and important progress on a number of specific reforms, with improved collaboration a welcome feature of today’s meeting of the COAG Energy Council, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said momentum is building on some specific regulatory reforms that will help to unlock the potential of sophisticated new clean energy technology such as wind, solar and battery storage.

“These reforms are complex and take time, but it’s great to see a sense of urgency from Energy Ministers. However the transformation of the energy sector is still missing a strong and coherent long-term vision and strategy, as well as a suite of policies that will ensure investor confidence far beyond 2020 to build the new clean generation and solutions of the future,” Mr Thornton said.

“Cooperation between the states and the Federal Government is essential to ensure competitively priced electricity as we move towards a cleaner, smarter energy system.

“It is great to see the excellent work done by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel on energy security being given such a high priority, as his recommendations have the potential to substantially improve the power grid and unlock the full potential of clean energy.”

Mr Thornton said Australia’s energy system is in the middle of rapid change, as outdated power plants close and consumers choose new technologies to reduce their power bills.

“Our old coal-fired power plants are closing and, while gas has a role to play during the transition, it is becoming increasingly expensive. New renewable energy investment and energy storage have the potential to put downward pressure on power prices,” he said.

“Better interconnection clearly has a role to play in a modern, low-carbon power system. The refinements to the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission appear helpful, and we hope they can lead to a more strategic assessment of new investments, as well as speeding up what can be a very slow process.

“We look forward to continue our close working relationship with state and federal governments on practical solutions to deliver a 21st century energy system.”

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.