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Action needed on Clean Energy Target 

Action needed on Clean Energy Target

Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and ACT have joined forces calling for action on a national Clean Energy Target to provide the certainty industry needs and help put downward pressure on prices.

Speaking ahead of the COAG Energy Council meeting in Brisbane, Queensland Energy Minister Bailey said that a Clean Energy Target was critical to deliver the signals needed by the market to allow investment in new generation, increasing supply and alleviating price pressures across the country.

“The Finkel Review modelling clearly showed a CET would deliver lower electricity prices, more investment and lower emissions compared to a business as usual approach,” Mr Bailey said.

“That modelling showed households would be around $90 better off per year over the next decade under a CET.

“The Federal Energy Minister seems to want to keep the most important recommendation of the Finkel Review in the too hard basket because of the internal divisions within his party which can’t reach agreement on energy and climate policy.

“We need to move on this as quickly as possible and not delay any further while policy paralysis continues to plague the Turnbull Government and push up prices across the country.

“We need to understand how a CET would work and how it can be effectively implemented to support emissions reduction, while ensuring affordability, security and reliability of electricity supply.

“While the Turnbull Government continues to sit on their hands, Queensland and other states will be acting.”

Minister Bailey said national policy uncertainty has been crippling the National Electricity Market, preventing much-needed investment in new generation, driving up wholesale prices and putting energy security at risk.

“Industry and consumer groups are united on the need to break this deadlock and the CET provides a clear pathway to achieve this,” he said.

“This is not surprising, as Dr Finkel and other industry experts agree renewable energy is now the cheapest form of new generation.”

Minister Bailey stressed that Queensland remained committed to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

“Dr Finkel’s recommendations are a complement to – not a substitute for – the actions the Palaszczuk Government is taking under the Powering Queensland Plan,” he said.

“As the independent Renewable Energy Expert Panel showed, Queensland can reap significant economic benefits from a 50 per cent target, with $6.7 billion in investment and up to 6,700 new jobs per year on average, while maintaining affordability and security.

“The CET can work in tandem with Queensland’s policy, reducing the level of independent effort required by the Queensland Government to reach its 50 per cent target.”

“Design work by the AEMC can provide further detail on how the complementary schemes would operate while maintaining affordability and security of supply.

“Coal and gas-fired generation will remain an important part of Queensland’s energy mix but calls for a new coal-fired power station are economically irresponsible – such an investment would be unbankable and only lock in higher costs and emissions.”

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