The decision by the COAG Energy Council today to proceed to the detailed design of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is a good step towards ending a decade of political uncertainty, the clean energy industry said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton welcomed the progress at the COAG meeting.

“The Energy Security Board (ESB) has clearly reflected on the extensive feedback from a very diverse group of stakeholders and developed a strong high-level design for the NEG architecture,” Mr Thornton said.

“The policy is now ready for a more extensive and detailed consultation and design process, to ensure it is effective and efficient. The devil, of course, will be in the detail.

“As previously stated, the level of emissions reduction currently proposed under the policy is not adequate, and the clean energy industry’s ultimate support of the policy will depend on both the detailed policy design and this issue being addressed.

“The level of the emissions reduction target will affect the strength of the investment signal for the new energy generation which is essential to help drive down power prices as our ageing power stations continue to retire.

“As previously stated, it is also important there is no negative impact on existing investments in renewable energy, that emissions offsets are not included in the NEG and that state schemes are recognised in the final design.

“We look forward to working with the ESB on a detailed design, as well as state and federal governments to address these remaining concerns,” he said.

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