MCA chief asks for tech neutral energy policy to reduce costs

Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) interim chief executive David Byers has commented on the Australian Government’s energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), stating that it must provide a “technology-neutral approach”.

Byers commented that Australian power price increases have undermined international competitiveness in the resources sector, and that a neutral approach to low-emissions energy sources such as HELE (high efficiency, low emissions) coal, carbon capture, renewables, gas and nuclear would be beneficial for the delivery of affordable low-emission energy, and, importantly, lower costs for families.

According to the report, Australia’s mining industry is responsible for 11 per cent of national energy generation.

The report also stressed the need for other objectives, including; funding for low-emissions energy sources from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC); regular checks on Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) results against actual results; increased policy transparency, especially regarding complementary measures, which should incoprorate consultation by the Energy Security Board (ESB).

“Replacing Australia’s ageing baseload fleet with sufficient levels of lowest cost, dispatchable power generation available 24/7 will be critical in not just limiting wholesale price increases, but actually reducing prices,” said Byers.

“Without policy certainty and consequent investment in power generation to deliver a system that is lowest cost, dispatchable and available 24/7, Australia will face a high-cost energy future which will reduce competitiveness and punish families with higher bills.”

The full MCA statement can be read here.

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