The decision by the Federal Government to build a new gas-fired power station in New South Wales is reckless and undermines Australia's efforts to deliver lower-cost power, reduce emissions and build a reliable energy system, according to the Clean Energy Council.
The Clean Energy Council believes the Australian Energy Market Operator has made it clear that this new generation is not needed to deliver reliability requirements in NSW as the aging coal-fired power station at Liddell closes.
"We have seen a record level of new large-scale renewable energy built in Australia over the past three years with over 10,300 MW of new wind and solar projects now commissioned," says Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
"This is backed up by new records in utility-scale batteries, with a 400 per cent increase in new investment commitments in the last quarter alone delivering 600 MW of new projects. These renewable energy investments have driven down power prices and demonstrate the enormous commitment of investors into new renewable energy and energy storage projects and reinforce the fact this new gas plant is not necessary."
Recent analysis by the Clean Energy Council revealed that battery storage now outcompetes gas peaker projects, coming in at 30 per cent lower costs while delivering lower emissions and more effective systems services to support energy reliability.
"Investors believe the role for government is to provide strong policy that provides investors clear signals and confidence to continue to make the most cost-effective and efficient investment in new generation. That is clearly renewable and energy storage," says Thornton.
"Government intervention to directly build their own high-cost generation is not only a poor use of taxpayer funds but also further undermines investor confidence in new generation. In the Clean Energy Council's most recent survey of CEOs of Australia's leading renewable energy investors, after challenges with the grid, 'Unpredictable or unhelpful government intervention in the energy market' rated as the second most significant challenge.
"If Australia is to ensure we effectively manage the transition of the energy system, we need to restore confidence in the role of governments to work collaboratively and focus on clear market signals for investment and customer confidence," says Thornton.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Clean Energy Council Media Manager
+61 409 470 683