Finkel "coal support" and "storage plan" may risk transition: Bandt
Greens climate and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP says reports that the Finkel review may allow coal-fired power stations to operate for decades and may seek to place storage requirements on new renewable energy generators could put the energy transition at risk.
Reports today that existing coal generators will be allowed to run for decades until the end of their existing 'technical life' are also deeply troubling, said Mr Bandt.
Increased energy storage in the grid and in consumers' homes and businesses is critical, Mr Bandt said, but placing requirements on new generators to come with 'storage attached' will push up wholesale costs, lock in incumbent fossil fuel generators and create a barrier to new investment, impeding the transition to a clean, reliable energy system.
Coal-fired power stations
"The loudest message from fossil fuel and renewable generators alike has been the need for a plan to manage the retirement of coal-fired power stations."
"Allowing existing coal-fired stations to keep running until their owners choose to close them down would push up pollution and stall future investment in renewables."
"The recent Senate inquiry heard that we need to close the equivalent of one Hazelwood a year to meet the '2 degrees' target and that a staged plan to manage retirement was essential to drive new investment while maintaining supply."
"If a new Low Emissions Target allows every existing coal-fired power station to run as long as it likes, the Trumps in the government will have won and the energy transition will be at risk."
“Instead of requiring new generation to come with 'storage attached', it would be far better to create a new energy storage target or have non-market requirements for the integration of storage, coupled with incentives for flexible demand response," said Mr Bandt.
"Big coal, big gas and the government want to make energy security a renewables problem, but the reality is, as we saw in the recent NSW heatwave, fossil fuel generators themselves can’t always be relied on to generate on demand."
"Requiring storage to be attached to renewables instead of creating a separate ancillary services market or a non-market mechanism, such as a minimum storage requirement, will reduce competition and will lock out storage companies from participating in the National Electricity Market in their own right."
"Instead of siding with big coal and gas to work renewables over and risk the energy transition, the Finkel review should recommend rule changes like the '5 minute settlement rule' in the NEM, energy efficiency and demand response requirements on the networks and minimum storage targets or requirements that will incentivise batteries and other forms of storage."
Media contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054