Single Market Renewable Energy Target - Securing Cheaper, Reliable Energy

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will seek a co-ordinated national approach to achieving reductions in carbon emissions from power generation that does not continue to disadvantage South Australian power consumers.

The Problem

Three States have renewable energy targets as follows:

energy_table.JPG

The Federal Coalition Government’s national target is 23.5% by 2020. The Federal Opposition is advocating 50% nationally by 2030.

The New South Wales, Tasmanian and Western Australian Governments endorse the Federal Coalition’s national target.

The multiplicity of targets has resulted in an inefficient and ineffective supply mix that in South Australia’s case, has delivered the highest priced and most unreliable electricity in the nation.

The Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, who is leading an independent review of the National Electricity Market for COAG, has suggested that State targets be abandoned in favour of a single national target.

South Australians are paying 45% more for electricity than their Victorian neighbours. This means the average annual residential power bill in South Australia is $500 higher than in Victoria.

South Australia is also paying 23% more than New South Wales and 14% more than Queensland and Western Australia.

Premier Jay Weatherill has said of our electricity system that ‘we are running a big international experiment right now.’

He was referring to the rate at which South Australia has introduced renewable energy to the supply system.

South Australian Labor originally agreed that it was up to the Federal Government to set a national renewable energy target because ‘a State-based target may result in higher energy costs for South Australia.’

But soon afterwards, Labor changed its position, pushing ahead with rapidly increasing South Australian targets despite warnings that managing the intermittent nature of wind generation in particular, presented major challenges for reliability and cost of supply.

Currently, the penetration of renewables in South Australia’s electricity supply mix is 41% - almost entirely made up of wind power.

The State Liberal's Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will seek a co-ordinated national approach to achieving reductions in carbon emissions from power generation that does not continue to disadvantage South Australian power consumers.

Specifically, we will not maintain a State Renewable Energy Target.

We believe the current South Australian target of 50% renewables by 2025 should be abandoned now in favour of a single national target.

If the State target remains in place by the next South Australian election, a Marshall Government will immediately abandon it.

In abandoning the target, a Liberal Government will work with all participants in the energy supply industry to establish longer term arrangements based on the following priorities:

  • Greater security of supply
  • Lower electricity prices
  • Meeting the national renewable energy target

Our energy policy will be practical – not ideological.

A Liberal Government’s discussions with the energy supply industry will not have a bias towards any particular technology. All options must be on the table if we are to resolve the current crisis in reliability and affordability of electricity supply.