The release later today of the final report of the Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel into Australia’s energy security presents a unique opportunity for Australia to end the current energy crisis, the clean energy industry’s peak body said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton believes Dr Finkel’s report will show that Australia has the clean energy technology and solutions to deliver a reliable power supply, at affordable prices.

“One thing is clear: the ongoing cost of uncertainty from a lack of national energy policy now exceeds the cost of introducing one. Our political leaders now need to work together to finally resolve the chronic uncertainty facing Australia’s energy sector,” Mr Thornton said.

“Without some form of stable long-term energy policy, the market will remain too volatile and the risks too great for private investors to lay billions of dollars of their own money on the line for any kind of new power generation.

Mr Thornton said the clean energy industry welcomed the proposal for a Low Emissions Target (LET) and believes this could deliver much needed investor confidence depending on how it was designed and so long as it is accompanied by suitable complementary reforms to modernise the electricity market.

“Enduring energy policy combined with sensible market reform can ensure the current $7.5 billion boom in new solar and wind projects continues long into the future in order to keep the lights on and unlock the massive investment and jobs opportunity for Australia.”

“Dr Finkel’s report is expected to provide confidence that this transition can be managed and outline a range of policy and regulatory reforms necessary to modernise our energy system, regulations and markets to unlock the full potential of exciting new renewable energy and energy storage solutions.

“Many new renewable energy and energy storage technologies and solutions are now available to help manage energy security. Australia can be much smarter in how we manage the energy system, integrate these new technologies and take advantage of their very sophisticated capabilities. We need to accelerate smart reforms to encourage this rather than introduce punitive measures that would force renewable energy projects to include backup power, stifling innovation and unnecessarily driving up costs.

There is a great deal of implementation detail that will need to be fully considered and we look forward to working with energy ministers and regulatory bodies to ensure these reforms are progressed and implemented in the most effective and expedient way.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Digital & Communications Manager Andreas Wenzel on 0430 166 177 for more information or to arrange an interview.