Turnbull’s new energy policy will fix power prices

Posted on October 17, 2017 12:03 am

National Energy Guarantee is a new plan that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes will make power bills cheaper and more reliable while still cutting carbon emissions. The plan is expected to replaces the Clean Energy Target with a National Energy Guarantee that requires retailers to use a percentage of electricity from what experts describe as dispatchable sources like gas, as coal, batteries and pumped hydro. The coalition agreed to ditch Clean Energy Target and instead adopt a National Energy Guarantee which would would require electricity retailers to have a minimum amount of power constantly available and Turnbull says the new plan is a “game changer” that will deliver affordability, reliability and sustainability. Turnbull said the new plan means Australia keep the lights on and can afford to keep them on, and that Australia meet international commitments under the Paris Agreement to cut our emissions.Clean Energy Target was expected to force electricity companies to provide a set percentage of their power from low emissions technology such as renewables and efficient gas and according to documents available in public, it would have increased costs of sourcing energy from such types of providers who would then have passed on to consumers.The estimates show that a typical household could save between AusD$110 and AusD$115 each year for a decade from 2020 with National Energy Guarantee in place.The new scheme does not provide subsidies for renewable energy, but does include an energy intensity calculation which would mean retailers will have to buy power that is efficient enough. Compliance rules for companies that fall short of their obligations have not yet been set but it is likely they would be able to make up a shortfall the following year.With National Energy Guarantee move, the Government says renewables are becoming more competitive without subsidies, so the renewable energy targets are no longer needed. It’s claimed those subsidies for using renewables will be phased out after 2020.On the other hand experts argues the new plan would destroy the renewables sector and will mean less renewable energy than Australia need to tackle climate change. Power companies will be forced to use baseload sources, which could keep some coal-fired power plants operating longer.

This moves comes at a time when the life of human population on earth is under threat from huge emission of carbon dioxide and huge consumption of earth resources. The huge emission of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas is causing the global temperature increase. Respected researchers have shown that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by electrical generator is depended on the type of energy sources used by the generator. Renewable energy tends to emit a very small amount of carbon dioxide to generate electricity compared to fossil fuels-based energy and certainly Malcolm Turnbull and his coalition knows that. In order to minimize carbon dioxide emissions, sustaining the earth, renewable energy is more preferable to be used than fossil fuels, in generating the electricity.With the new policy, energy retailers will be able to buy or contract existing dispatchable power, or contract another company to build resources for them such as a new coal or gas plant, or a battery. Others argue that by mandating that the energy needs to be dispatchable the government was locking in coal and gas because for wind and solar to be dispatchable energy there’s need for big batteries which are really expensive. There’s also a section of people who see energy as not a free market and requires a government plan.Proponents of the scheme said it would provide investment certainty, as the scheme essentially guarantees there will always be a strong market for dispatchable power and will provide investor certainty. It will reduces volatility, which, of course, has been driving up prices and affecting poor folks across Australia.Your blogger’s friend who works in an energy company in Queensland has praised the system for its simplicity which means no subsidies, no taxes and no trading systems. In a video shared to the Turnbull’s public Facebook page, the premier pitched it as a plan that would deliver cheaper, more reliable electricity for Australian families and businesses.Your power bills are too high, and rising too fast, Turnbull said in the video.Unfortunately, with a huge potential of renewable energy, Australia will still largely depends on fossil fuels and only less than percent of the total potential of its renewable energy is currently used. Sadly, the Australian government doesn’t see the carbon threat nor the abundant potential of renewable sources that can reduce the country dependency on fossil fuels. With the latest move, though i i welcome it, i wonder when will Australia start to develop a sustainable country with sustainable sources of energy.

Contador Harrison