Is gas policy just hot air?

The State Liberals want the Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis to guarantee his $24 million gas incentivisation policy will reduce the price of electricity in South Australia and release the modelling the policy is based on when the funding proposal is release today.

“The time has arrived for Minister Koutsantonis to explain exactly how this direct taxpayer subsidy to gas producers will translate into cheaper electricity for South Australians,” said Shadow Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

When the policy was first announced by Jay Weatherill on the 8th of September the Premier refused to guarantee that it would drive down the price of electricity: No, of course I can’t guarantee anything in what is essentially a private market that we don’t control. (Jay Weatherill)

“Tom Koutsantonis has had more than a month to put some flesh on the bones of this announcement and today he needs to explain precisely how handing $24 million of taxpayers’ money to gas companies is going to drive down the price of electricity in South Australia and when.

“The reason why South Australia has the highest priced electricity in Australia is because the Weatherill Government’s over reliance on wind energy forced the closure of the Northern Power Station which used to produce affordable and reliable base load power.

“Minister Koutsantonis refused to help the Northern Power Station to remain operational despite being warned its closure would dramatically drive up the price of electricity in South Australia.

“Since the closure of the Northern Power Station in May, market prices for electricity in South Australia have increased by 105 per cent.

“All South Australians are paying the price of the Weatherill Government’s failed energy policies that have left the state with an over-reliance on local intermittent renewable energy and coal fired electricity imported from Victoria.”