Greens bill calls for new government authority to rewrite electricity market rules

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Greens bill calls for the establishment of a government statutory authority to oversee the planned closure of coal-fired power stations, rewrite market rules, shift Australia’s electricity system to renewables.

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A bill proposed by the Australian Greens calls for the establishment of a government statutory authority to oversee the planned closure of coal-fired power stations, and other measures required to shift Australia’s electricity system to renewables.

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Greens energy spokesman Adam Bandt

The Renew Australia Bill 2016 was introduced to the House of Representatives on Monday by Greens energy spokesman Adam Bandt.

It implements the Greens’ energy plan, which aims to increase energy production by about 50 per cent and transition the National Electricity Market from dirty to clean power.

The bill also proposes the new statutory authority would invest in renewable energy, support affected communities through the transition and rewrite energy market laws.

“The rules of Australia’s energy system need to be rewritten,” Bandt said in a speech to parliament. “Government must be the midwife of the clean energy society and that means a high level of planning to get public and private works happening in time.”

The National Electricity Market rules have long frustrated the clean energy industry, mostly because there is no mention of the environment in its list of “objectives”. They see this is one reason why new tariffs that would recognise environmental benefits of renewable energy and decentralised generation rarely get through.

They also say this is one reason why the policy regulators in Australia are so slow-moving. Out-of-date regulation is considered to be the major impediment to the rapid uptake of new technology in Australia.

The incumbents are often accused of using this as self-defence, but analysts say this may be counter-productive, and may encourage consumers to take their own action and leave the grid altogether.

Bandt said the Renew Australia bill will create a statutory authority charged with drafting laws to rewrite the country’s energy system so that we can get off coal and onto renewables by 2030.

“Our existing energy generators, grid and market are no longer ‘fit for purpose’. The transition task is huge and requires government coordination if we’re to ensure no-one is left behind,” he said.

“Everyone now accepts that a carbon price alone won’t phase out coal in the time we need, unless it is very high.

“An overarching set of ‘new energy objectives’ is needed to shift to renewables, phase out coal in an orderly way, create a grid that supports decentralised generation and look after affected communities.”

 

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8 Comments
  1. lin 3 years ago

    Bandt is right. Getting the rules sorted for renewables to take over is essential for us to take advantage of the coming energy revolution. However, the FF industry, “their” regulators and the politicians they own will fight dirty to prevent an outcome that is good for everyone, preferring one that enriches the few while wrecking the joint.

  2. solarguy 3 years ago

    It’s the only way going forward!

  3. DogzOwn 3 years ago

    Malcolm is disappointing on many fronts but how sad is it that Bill’s brand new plan has slip sided into ETS quagmire, especially against backdrop of Panama Papers, which show extreme absence of ethics on conventional business transactions. Just watch Malcolm scuttle back to Goldman-Sachs world’s biggest exploiter of less tangible bizness opportunities like ETS.

  4. DogzOwn 3 years ago

    Hallelujah to Greens for making this election issue, current system causing 75% energy price rises, legacy of Coal-ition hero Howard. Prices actually fell during short lived carbon tax.

  5. Ian 3 years ago

    This is why I vote for the Greens

  6. Stewart Rogers 3 years ago

    How about a free market plan where wind will likely win in the future. Axe all subsidies and let all energies fight till death. Batteries will come into the mix soon.

  7. jabroni 3 years ago

    this is great and hopefully put a stop to anyone fear mongering electricity price rises with putting in a carbon tax

  8. A1 3 years ago

    any info on how this would work? what would they change?

    There’s been a lot of money invested on the basis of the current rules – how would they just get changed to favour certain businesses at expense of others? cough cough sovereign risk.

    what do they see as the broken bits that need fixing?

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