NEG is a winner

TWO out of three ain’t bad, according to that famous Meatloaf song. So Hogsback reckons that 19 out of 20 must be outstanding when you’re looking at the federal government’s take up of chief scientist Alan Finkel’s recommendations for the national power industry.
NEG is a winner NEG is a winner NEG is a winner NEG is a winner NEG is a winner

Lou Caruana

But no, the whining chorus of rusted-on environmentalists is still not happy.

These ideological purists want all or nothing. “Renewables or die!” seems to be their mantra.

Liberal party backbenchers led by former prime minister Tony Abbot are the devil incarnate for daring to propose that in our democratic system of government consensus can be reached by making compromises on energy policy along the way.

Despite a concerted campaign by certain groups to phase out coal altogether by pushing for the Clean Energy Target proposed by Finkel, PM Malcolm Turnbull has seen sense and decided the national economy, industry, and citizens need the reliability and cost benefit that only coal can bring to the national grid.

So the federal government has decided to go for the National Energy Guarantee, which would seek to ensure security of energy supply in the medium-term through the use of coal and gas.     

The reaction by GetUp national director Paul Oosting to the news was typical.

“Renewables are the cheapest way to increase the amount of electricity in our system yet the Turnbull wants to force Australians to pay a handful of old energy dinosaurs to keep out of date technologies running,” he said.

“With clean energy from the sun and wind, backed up with batteries, we can fix our gas crisis, cut power bills and clean up our climate.  

“Australians know that clean energy is the solution to the Turnbull government’s energy debacle – 96% of us want renewables to be our main source of power.”

Oosting should understand the majority of Australians voted for the current federal government to make important decisions about energy policy, and not rely on hastily devised polls conducted by activist groups such as GetUp.

On a more sober note the Minerals Council of Australia said the proposed reliability guarantee would provide incentives to maintain flexible, dispatchable sources of power supply to improve the reliability of our electricity grid and reduce the risks of power outages.

However, it believes the challenge into the future will be to ensure there is enough new low-cost, reliable power generation to replace the 8000 MW of old baseload plant expected to retire by 2030.

“It will be important for the government to consult with industry on the detailed design and implementation of the new Reliability and Emissions Guarantees, and any associated measures,” it said.