Angus Taylor – No Extension For Australia’s Renewable Energy Target

Angus Taylor - Renewable Energy Target

Image source: Angus Taylor via Facebook

Australia’s Energy Minister Angus Taylor confirmed in Question Time yesterday that the nation’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) will wind down from 2020 with nothing to replace it – that is assuming the Morrison Government is still in power after the next election.

Angus Taylor was elevated to the role of Energy Minister last month after the latest Liberal leadership bloodbath. While he has previously indicated a soft spot for solar power, it’s always been pretty clear he’s not a fan of wind farms.

As he has settled into his new role, it’s also becoming increasingly apparent he won’t be a friend of renewables generally or the RET.

During Question Time yesterday,  Federal Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt asked:

” To stop renewables falling into a valley of death while parliament works out a new energy policy, will you agree to the Greens proposal of a stopgap extension of the RET out to 2022, or is your goal to be the grim reaper for renewable energy by letting renewables fall into the valley of death?”

Angus Taylor responded:

“The truth of the matter is that the Renewable Energy Target is going to wind down from 2020. The target reaches a peak in 2020, and we will not be replacing that with anything.”

While Minister Taylor said the Government believes Australia will reach its 26 per cent emissions reduction target without additional intervention, others disagree.

“Fair Dinkum” Electricity Generation

However, Mr Taylor stated the government was going to support investment in new generation.

“We’re going to back investment in fair dinkum, reliable generation, because that’s what this country needs. It doesn’t need to be stuck with intermittent generation that drives up prices and drives down reliability.”

Mr. Taylor pointed to South Australia’s electricity prices as an example – but SA electricity prices have always been high; well before the first wind turbine or solar panel was installed in the state.

The full exchange can be viewed in Tuesday’s House of Representatives Hansard, pages 23 and 24.

Minister Taylor’s confirmation follows what RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson labeled an “extraordinary and ill-informed attack against wind and solar” in an interview on Sky News on Sunday night.

Mr. Taylor’s views on emissions generally also appear to be at odds with many in his own electorate.

ReachTEL poll results released today of the seat of Hume indicate 42 per cent of respondents believe the 26 to 28 per cent target is not enough, while 30 per cent think it should stay the same and 22 per cent want it reduced, with 6% unsure.

While the Morrison Government has now made its stance clear on the Renewable Energy Target, there’s still no solid indication if it will proceed on the ACCC’s recommendation of prematurely ending Australia’s “solar rebate“.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Geoff Miell says:

    Minister Angus Taylor said:

    “We’re going to back investment in fair dinkum, reliable generation, because that’s what this country needs. It doesn’t need to be stuck with intermittent generation that drives up prices and drives down reliability.”

    Perhaps Minister Taylor needs to have a “fair dinkum” discussion with Professor Andrew Blakers on where Australia’s affordable, reliable electricity could come from in future – see my comments here:
    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/palmer-coal-power-station-mb0738/#comment-224889

    and here:
    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/palmer-coal-power-station-mb0738/#comment-225673

    Perhaps Minister Taylor needs to also have a “fair dinkum” discussion with SolarReserve to ask them how SolarReserve can provide ‘dispatchable’ solar energy, day and night, for Australia at an affordable price. See SolarReserve’s Submission (#246) to the NSW Parliament Select Committee on Electricity Supply, Demand an Prices in NSW, here:
    https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/lcdocs/submissions/61424/SolarReserve%20Australia%20Pty%20Ltd.pdf

    SolarReserve’s 150 MW with 8 hours energy storage CSP project Aurora is contracted to supply electricity capped at AU$78/MWh to the South Australian government for 20 years – the lowest price reported so far anywhere for this type of technology. But Aurora is a one-off generator.

    I speculate that larger (say 200 – 220 MW capacity per generator units) with more energy storage (say 16 to 17 hours each at max power output) to increase capacity factor (to say 65 to 70%) and multiple concurrent-built (say five) generator units at one suitable high insolation site, delivering electricity over a 20-year supply contract period, may possibly be significantly cheaper. I speculate, perhaps CSP could provide ‘dispatchable’ solar power, day and night, for less than AU$70/MWh, or maybe even sub-AU$60/MWh? I think the only way to find out for sure is to have a fair and competitive tender process.

    How about it, Minister Angus Taylor? Are you “fair dinkum” about affordable, reliable electricity for our country’s needs?

  2. Geoff Miell says:

    Nothing happens without energy.
    Unaffordable energy means life becomes unaffordable.

    Reliable, affordable, long-term sustainable energy supplies for Australia are at risk, not just in our country’s electricity sector, but also for petroleum-based liquid fuels and natural gas.

    Earlier this year, Senator Jim Molan told Radio 2GB’s Alan Jones on-air:

    “At the moment, from my estimations, in relation to petrol we have something between 19 to 24 days.”
    “In relation to diesel we have something between 12 to 17 days and in relation to aviation fuel… we’ve got something like 17 to 19 days.”
    See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-23/fact-check-jim-molan-fuel-security/9687606

    It seems to me Australia’s liquid fuel supplies are also in a precarious state, relying predominantly on good luck, rather than on good management.

    The AEMO’s “Gas Statement of Opportunities 2015”, published April 2015, includes Figure 2: Depletion of proven and probable conventional gas reserves, which illustrates the finding that fields supplying conventional gas from the Otway, Gippsland, and Cooper Basin proven plus probable reserves will be depleted by the end of 2028.
    See: https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/PDF/2015-Gas-Statement-of-Opportunities.pdf

    GSOO analysis indicates that conventional reserves could be developed in the Gippsland, Otway, and Cooper basins, along with shale gas reserves in the Cooper basin, to make up for depleted reserves. But should they, given our “Paris Climate Agreement” commitments?

    “BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018” (67th Edition), published June 13, suggests global oil and gas supplies may be reaching all-time peaks soon. See:
    https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/en/corporate/pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2018-full-report.pdf

    The US, in year-2017, was the world’s largest oil producer at 14.1% global share (see page 14), and the world’s largest oil consumer at 20.2% global share (p15), but at the end of 2017 had a proved oil reserves-to-production (R/P) of only 10.5 years (p12).

    Similarly, the US was also the world’s largest gas producer at 20.0% global share (p28), and the world’s largest gas consumer at 20.1% global share (p29), but at the end of 2017 had a gas proved R/P of only 11.9 years (p26).

    The report “Shale Reality Check 2018” by J. David Hughes, published in February, advises:

    “…the U.S. would be well advised to plan for much-reduced shale oil and gas production in the long term based on this analysis of play fundamentals.”

    http://www.postcarbon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Hughes_Shale-Reality-Check_Winter-2018.pdf

    If Minister Angus Taylor is apparently having difficulty finding affordable, reliable, long-term sustainable solutions for Australia’s electricity sector, when effective, affordable and reliable solutions are evident, then I wonder whether he can find effective alternative energy solutions for the more difficult (and looming) challenges of inevitable declines in global petroleum oil and fossil natural gas supplies.

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