Frydenberg reverts back to blackouts, gets schooled on Twitter | RenewEconomy

Frydenberg reverts back to blackouts, gets schooled on Twitter

Federal energy minister says Victoria’s lights will go out if Labor states don’t support NEG. Victoria energy minister says: poppycock.

Australian Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg delivers his address to the National Press Club in Canberra, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

You know the policy stakes are high for federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg when he starts talking power black-outs.

Rolled out time and time again during the South Australian state election in March, Frydenberg dusted off the threat of the lights going out again last week, in the lead-up to the COAG energy council meeting on Friday.

“Here’s an opportunity to avoid the blackouts, that will come, in Victoria if we don’t have a National Energy Guarantee,” he said during an interview last Wednesday.

Victoria, which has become the poster child for those states and territories that aren’t yet prepared to sign up to the NEG – and it is not alone – has become the newest target of the Coalition’s black-out warnings.

After the state, alongside Queensland and the ACT, on Friday stood firm on withholding support for the NEG until the policy had been through the Coalition party room (Tuesday), and on the condition of some key adjustments, Frydenberg was at it again.

After accusing Victorian Labor of “crass short-term political calculations,” Frydenberg assured ABC Insiders host Barrie Cassidy on Sunday that the potential for blackouts in Victoria was not just strong language.

“Well that’s real,” he said. “…“Last September the AEMO said there was a 43 per cent chance of load shedding in Victoria, that’s a euphemism for black-outs.

“Victoria not only has the second-highest prices in Australia, but it also, following the closure of Hazelwood, which took 25 per cent of the supply out the market, has gone from being an exporter of power at times to now being an importer of power.”

And while Cassidy let the comments through uncontested, Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio was not having a bar of it.

Frydenberg responded by doubling down on his comments:

And at this point, a number of energy market experts including Dylan McConnell – Reserach Fellow at the Melbourne Energy Institute – also jumped on to the Twitter thread to explain why the federal energy minister was talking nonsense.

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