Energy plan 'won't cut prices, emissions'

A new report commissioned by Greenpeace has found a more ambitious energy policy is needed if power bills and emissions are to be cut.

New modelling suggests the federal government's proposed National Energy Guarantee would push up power prices, do little to reduce emissions and crippled the renewables industry.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will sit down with his state and territory counterparts on August 10 to look at the final design of the policy, which the government says will take pressure off electricity bills, cut emissions and reduce the risk of summer blackouts.

Ahead of the meeting, a Reputex report commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific has estimated wholesale electricity prices will rise above $70/MWh from 2022 and above $80/MWh from 2028.

But if the 26 per cent emissions reduction target, proposed under the NEG, was replaced with a 45 per cent target by 2030, the modelling showed wholesale prices would hover around $60/MWh.

Reputex's modelling also showed that a 26 per cent reduction target for electricity sector emissions will be met under the existing policy by 2024, five years ahead of the NEG and at lower cost.

This meant the NEG would have no impact in driving new renewables investment over current policy, with 42 per cent of generation coming from renewable energy sources by 2030 under business as usual.

Under a higher 45 per cent target, renewables would reach 50 per cent of electricity generation by 2030.

"This report confirms that an energy system with more renewables will be not only cleaner, but cheaper than the government's do-nothing National Energy Guarantee," said Greenpeace Australia Pacific head of research and investigations, Nikola Casule.

He said if state premiers agreed to the NEG they would own the consequences of "hobbling the renewables revolution".

A number of state and territory governments have signalled they want a more ambitious policy and face political pressure from the renewables industry and green groups not to support the plan.

Published 20 July 2018 at 12:08am
Source: AAP