The country’s major power companies have warned of the dangers of state-based renewable energy targets, saying it will slow down investment and increase uncertainty according to the Austrlian.
The unstable policy environment caused by several state and territory governments establishing their own renewable target will surely harm efforts to replace coal-fired power stations with renewable generation in a cheap and orderly manner, many energy companies say.
This comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated in September that a number of the state labor governments have over the years set priorities and renewable targets that are very aggressive and unrealistic while paying little to no attention to energy security.
The Department of Environment and Energy has estimated the amount of extra large-scale renewable output required to meet Queensland’s target of 50% by 2030 would be 24 terawatt hours of electricity at a cost of $27 billion and Victoria’s target of 40% by 2025 would be 13 terawatt-hours of electricity at a cost of $14 billion.
South Australia has a renewable target of 50% by 2025 and the new Northern Territory Labor government has a 50% target by 2030. Tasmania, Western Australia and New South Wales back a renewable energy target of 20% by 2020.
The gas and electricity provider Alinta Energy has submitted to a senate inquiry into the retirement of coal-fired power stations, noted its first-hand experience in funding the closure of South Australia’s last coal operation in May 2017.
The 780 megawatt coal power station and associated mine cost Alinta $200 million to close and resulted in the loss of 500 jobs in South Australia’s northern regions, as it struggled to compete with renewable energy.
The submission also stated that Alinta supports providing incentives for renewable investment, and the company believes it would be the most efficient and effective through a single national program.
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