Greens: Electricity sector reform must ensure effective transition to renewable energy

13 August 2011

The ERA Wholesale Electricity Market report clearly identifies the key issue for the electricity sector is the lack of clear government policy.

“Electricity is an essential public good.  The sector is facing critical challenges right now – an aging distribution network, growing demand, and the pressing need to shift from carbon intensive electricity to renewable electricity.

“Now is the time that we need strong government policy to set the framework for the transition to renewable power – so the sector can deliver it.

“Criticism that spending on renewables is pushing up prices is largely unjustified. The major increase in household power prices is to fund the maintenance of our aging electricity infrastructure, and to meet the very high peak demand times.

“I am pleased to see that the ERA recognizes the importance of a price on carbon.

“It is critical in setting electricity policy that government focuses, not just on efficiency in the sector, but on the shift from carbon polluting electricity to renewable energy.

“The State Government has massive subsidies in support of the fossil fuel industry - $ $124,383,000 on the gas hub at James Price Point, which is projected to emit from 7.1 mtpa CO2 to 32 mtpa CO2 at full production.$8,548,000is committed for Anketell North – projected to emit 10-15 mtpa once it hits production of 25 mtpa of LNG.

“State Government spending on fossil fuel electricity vastly renewables spending.

“Verve has an allocation of $225.5 million over the forward estimates on it’s fossil fuel portfolio – including $88.9 million for Muja power station, where our state is reopening the oldest dirtiest most carbon intensive parts of this power station.  In comparison – Verve has $21.3 million on renewables – completing one windfarm.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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