Labor should abandon 50% renewables power policy

LABOR should abandon its ideological goal of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 because it will push up electricity prices and threaten increased blackouts across the country.

Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said today the Labor plan would risk the stability and affordability of electricity and expose Queensland to South Australian-type mass blackouts.

The Minister’s comments follow media reports that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has attacked modelling used by the Palaszczuk Labor government in Queensland to claim its 2030 target will be cost-neutral to consumers and not undermine network reliability.

The reports said an AEMO submission to a Queensland government inquiry argued better analysis was needed to reflect the “volatility’’ of renewable energy and also raised concerns that lower levels of coal-fired power in the system could make the network more susceptible to outages like those in South Australia.

“Both federal Labor and the Palaszczuk Labor government want to impose 50 per cent renewables on the electricity market by 2030 purely for ideological reasons,” Minister Canavan said. “This would force up electricity prices and risk the reliability of power supplies, and Labor should abandon the plan immediately.

“The fact is, we need reliable baseload power in our energy mix, and that comes from goal and gas.”

Minister Canavan said Queenslanders had already seen electricity prices in the state rise sharply after Labor forced the power companies it owns to help pay down unrelated government debt.

“Already this year, we have seen astronomical spot prices for electricity in Queensland and this is obviously a major factor behind last week’s announcement from Boyne Smelter Limited in Gladstone that it would cut aluminium production and sack a significant number of employees after it couldn’t reach a satisfactory agreement on prices with the two state government-owned power companies.

“If Labor doesn’t develop a common-sense alternative to its 50 per cent renewables policy, we will see even greater pain for businesses and families across the state.

“Queensland needs a practical and reliable mix of energy sources – coal, gas and renewables.”

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