COAG energy review must power timely, practical reform

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16 April 21, 1:43pm As the 2021 APPEA Environment and Safety Excellence Awards take place in June we are looking back on winners and no… https://t.co/mi3JWR9v1T
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by APPEALtd
14 April 21, 9:43am In a major boost for the Northern Territory’s economy and environment, regarded environmental scientist Cassandra S… https://t.co/94cM4HhLT3
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by APPEALtd
8 April 21, 1:48pm The Australian Government's release of a suite of measures aimed at enhancing and strengthening Australia’s offshor… https://t.co/Ih8azMhLlb
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by APPEALtd
6 April 21, 10:35am APPEA’s submission to the Federal Government’s gas-fired recovery consultation shows how the oil and gas industry c… https://t.co/c8MTb4fRIN
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by APPEALtd

APPEA welcomes the COAG Energy Council’s announcement of an independent review of energy security in the national electricity market, led by the Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO.

“Let’s hope Dr Finkel’s review will drag debate away from polarised positions to a fact-based discussion of how Australia can cut emissions from the energy sector without jeopardising reliable, affordable electricity for consumers,” said APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts.

“As far as some governments are concerned, this might not be the beginning of a beautiful friendship but it could be the beginning of a long overdue realism in the debate about renewable energy.

“Integrating more and more intermittent renewable energy into the grid is a major challenge.  It is a challenge Australia can meet, provided we accept that there are genuine practical problems to be solved and we must co-operate to solve them.

“Identifying these problems is not an attack on renewables, as some people seem to think.  Solving these problems is in everyone’s interests, especially the renewable energy industry’s.

“Every generation technology has its strengths and weaknesses – that’s why Australia has always used a mix of technologies to meet demand.

“As a starting point, we need to see more co-ordinated action from governments and fewer ad hoc announcements designed to capture newspaper headlines.  Integrating climate change and energy policies means striking the right balance between cutting emissions and maintaining reliable, affordable supply.

“An important first step will be for governments to recommit to a single national renewable energy target.  Some State governments have announced ambitious renewable energy targets without any detailed analysis of the costs for consumers or the impact on energy security.

“The most efficient renewable energy target is a single national target, not a patchwork of State targets which may change with every electoral cycle.

“We need to see careful planning so that, as renewable energy increases its share of the energy market, we retain sufficient gas-fired plant to provide the immediate back-up required when renewable output falls or demand spikes.

“A recent international study of 26 OECD countries between 1990 and 2013 shows that gas is absolutely critical to system security.

“That study found that, for every 0.88% increase in renewable generation, an even larger increase (1%) in fast-reacting gas-fired generation occurred.”