Green power drive ‘to push up prices’

September 12, 2018

Victoria has agreed to build six massive renewable energy projects in a bid to increase the state’s power supply and meet its renewable energy targets, in a move ­experts warn will scuttle plans for a consistent national approach to energy generation.

The Conservative Party has long called for a scrapping on renewable energy subsidies, and the construction of more coal-fired and/or nuclear power plants to meet the nation's energy needs cheaply and reliably.

The Australian reports, as federal Coalition MPs scramble to formulate a policy to replace the dumped national ­energy guarantee, fears are growing within the sector that states “going it alone” on power generation will lead to a “hodgepodge” of schemes.

Some experts say energy networks that are overly reliant on renewable generation could be ­exposed to the risk of blackouts during extreme weather, when demand for stable baseload power is highest.

They also warn that a spike in investment in renewable power sources will lead to higher prices in the long run by pushing the price of power below viability for baseload generators and putting them out of business.

Premier Daniel Andrews was in Ararat yesterday, where he ­revealed the government had underwritten three new wind farms and three new solar farms, which together produced 928MW and could power up to 646,273 households and cut electricity sector emissions by 16 per cent by 2035.

Frontier Economics managing director Danny Price said the plan pushed the prospect of a cohesive, federal energy plan further from reach. He urged the federal government to take action before state schemes became too ­entrenched to co-ordinate.

“It’s going to be virtually impossible to come up with a federal energy plan because once these schemes are entrenched in these states, it will be impossible to get them out again... We’re well and truly on the path to a hodgepodge of schemes around the country,” Mr Price said.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has told the Senate the headlong rush into renewables is a green fad which will seriously damage our way of life and the Australian economy.

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