The renewable energy industry has called on state and federal Energy Ministers to put politics aside and get on with the job of working together to transform Australia’s energy system, ahead of a meeting of the COAG Energy Council next week.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said there were many opportunities for politicians to reach across the aisle and work together towards building a smarter, cleaner, more secure electricity system.
In a letter to all members of the COAG Energy Council, Mr Thornton said battery storage, improved energy production and demand response, stronger electricity interconnection across the country, and better interaction of electricity and gas markets could all help to improve energy security.
Many other opportunities to make better use of renewable energy technologies to deliver grid-balancing services such as frequency control and synthetic inertia, he wrote.
Among a package of reforms to the energy system recommended by the Clean Energy Council, Mr Thornton said that a clear policy commitment was required to transition to a zero-emission energy system no later than 2050, so that Australia will meet its international obligations under the Paris climate agreement.
“Energy market reform must be guided by a clear statement of this intent, that will guide efficient policy and regulatory settings and facilitate the investments necessary to enable a zero-emissions electricity system,” he said.
A preliminary report on improving national energy security led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel will also be an important consideration at the event.