Politicians, market observers, green groups and industry stakeholders respond to the tabling of the Finkel energy market review…
Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull: I’ll say this about the CET mechanism, it has a number of very strong virtues. One is that it is technology agnostic, so it provides incentives for lower emissions technologies, not just for renewables… So that’s a great strength.
“There is no … barrier to building a coal-fired power station. There is a benchmark that will be set, an emissions level and new generation which comes under that would receive a portion of a certificate. It’s proportionate. That’s an incentive. Doesn’t prevent someone from building a new coal-fired power station.
“The point is, there is nothing in the CET that would prevent a new coal-fired power station to be built, it would provide an incentive for lower emissions technologies, however.”
SA Premier Jay Weatherill: The challenges of the national retail market are well documented… It’s all about lack of a market mechanism to effectively integrate climate policy and energy policy. And that’s at the heart of Finkel’s recommendations. We strongly support the report. There’s an enormous amount of work to be done. It’s urgent work. And we’re very much looking forward to this work.
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr: Canberra’s electricity consumers are about to experience a 19 per cent increase in retail prices. This is urgent (reform). We must resolve this issue to provide investment certainty. …We have hedged against this significant (power) price rise, but it remains a significant concern.”
How much global warming will #Finkel blueprint stop by 2100?
— Sen. Malcolm Roberts (@SenatorMRoberts) June 9, 2017
Greens climate and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP: Right now, big coal and gas are licking their lips. The Finkel Report is full of good ideas, but the key proposal of a Clean Energy Target is far worse than the version John Howard announced in 2007 and will see consumers subsidise gas and let coal keep polluting. Bill Shorten and Labor cannot end the ‘climate wars’ by running up the white flag and blindly signing up to a deal with the Liberals.
Expecting coal generators to voluntarily give 3-5 years notice of closure is dreaming. Need govt setting timetablehttps://t.co/hocWxHtU1a
— Mark Wakeham (@markwakeham) June 8, 2017
Australia Chief Scientist Alan Finkel: I don’t understand why people are asking that question. Why do they care what the underlying generation mix is? If it’s meeting our objectives of security, reliability and lowering emissions, what more would you want to ask?
— Mark Wakeham (@markwakeham) June 9, 2017
— Marie Lakey (@marielakey88) June 9, 2017
The Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council: (We) welcome this landmark, independent report. We are concerned the report recommends constraints on new renewable energy generation, without focusing enough on existing generation and networks. We will review the report in detail and work with Governments to ensure that together we can build a stronger solar and storage industry.
Friends of the Earth climate change spokesperson Leigh Ewbank: “It’s puzzling that Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist and founder of Cosmos magazine, has failed to account for the latest science on climate change and health impacts from coal.
“Alarming melting of the polar icecaps and extensive bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef shows we need a rapid rollout of solar and wind, not incentives for new coal or gas. Renewable energy is the cost effective solution for the modern economy. Community health should be put before the wishes of a fossil fuel lobbyists and a government ideologically wedded to coal and gas.”
AGL Energy: “We note that the Finkel review has found the resource costs of a CET are relatively similar to both business-as-usual and an EIS. As the operator of the most efficient and lowest emissions coal-fired generators in Victoria and NSW, coupled with our extensive renewables and gas generations assets, AGL is well placed to continue to supply our customers while investing in new lower-emissions generation infrastructure.
“We support the recommendations for advanced notice of closure of thermal plant and a ‘dispatchability’ requirement for new renewables when AEMO deems it to be necessary. These mechanisms should provide greater system security and reliability, as well as a more orderly transition to a decarbonised energy system.”
— Andy Vesey (@AndyVesey_AGL) June 9, 2017
Australian Conservation Foundation: Chief Scientist Alan Finkel was given an impossible task: design an energy system that would tackle global warming but still keep Tony Abbott and the climate deniers happy. The result of Finkel’s mission impossible is a clean energy target that is actually very, very dirty.
The most critical question is: will this blueprint actually reduce pollution in line with what’s required to halt dangerous global warming. The answer is no it won’t. …The science is clear – we need a zero-pollution power sector, as soon as possible. This report puts off the decision on how to do this for another three years. Climate science tells us there is no room for new coal and gas, and our Chief Scientist missed an opportunity to make that clear to the Turnbull government.
Ending the climate wars through #Finkel like rather like “Peace in our time”. Political agreement to let the planet burn?
— timhollo (@timhollo) June 9, 2017
— PIAC (@PIACnews) June 9, 2017
GE said Australia has the potential to become a world leader in hybrid renewable and battery technology, and the integration of renewable energy into traditional grid systems.
“The technologies necessary to implement the Finkel blueprint already exist. All we need is stable policy and companies like GE will invest to secure Australia’s energy future.
“We urge Australia’s political leaders to adopt the proposals and stick with them for the long term, because if they do, industry will meet the challenge.”
This article will be updated as more reactions and comments are published…