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Authority should set price cap on renewables, not coal says industry

Gregory Crinum Coal Mine
Coal mine

Fossil fuel prices should stay unregulated and clean power should face greater scrutiny, an advocate said.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) wants the Federal Government to introduce price caps on solar, wind, hydro and other renewable energy sources.

“Coal’s share of electricity generated in Australia has reduced as more renewables such as wind, solar and hydro enter the energy market,” MCA CEO Tania Constable said in a public statement.

“As a result renewable and gas generation set the price in Australia’s electricity market.”

Constable stressed coal is “not the problem” causing the nation’s energy crisis, and limiting fossil fuel price hikes would significantly hinder employer profitability and sustainability.

“It is misleading to suggest otherwise … [and] energy security issues that emerged in early June were as a consequence of mechanical failures in generation taking out almost half the available generation capacity in the market, not a shortage of coal,” she said.

“At a price cap of $70 per tonne of coal the government is considering … most mines dedicated to a power station will not be able to meet the costs of production.”

The remarks came after the Australian Treasury urged federal parliament to prevent coal producers from further lifting commodity prices.

“Australia is uniquely placed to pursue this type of intervention given it is a net exporter of energy,” Secretary Steven Kennedy said according to the Australian Associated Press.

“Given the hopefully temporary nature of the energy shock, measures to address the price increases should also be temporary and regularly reviewed.”

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