Renewable Energy
Wind turbines can be seen behind electricity wires at the Infigen Energy wind farm located on the hills surrounding Lake George, 50 km north of the Australian capital city of Canberra, May 13, 2013. Reuters/David Gray

New South Wales Energy Minister Anthony Roberts supports the call by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on states to abandon individual renewable targets and instead back the federal government’s approach to renewable energy. He also cites the state-wide power outage in Tasmania and South Australia as reasons behind his challenge.

Roberts says states do have a renewable energy target which should be the commonwealth target. “It is the most efficient way to transition to a renewable supply without affect security of supply for houses and businesses,” The Australian quotes Roberts.

He explains that the national electricity market (NEM) does not stop at state boundaries. If state go alone, they fail to recognise the effect on reliability and security and costs. “It is easy for governments to make political announcements of 40 per cent or 50 per cent or 100 per cent, but people have to realise it has effects on the NEM and it can do significant damage to the NEM,” Roberts explains.

According to federal Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, states’ targets could reach $41 billion in capital costs, but Victoria, South Australia and Queensland dispute the figure. The three states say it did not took into account the falling cost of renewable energy infrastructure.

In the case of NSW, Roberts says the state did not suffer from lack of renewables investment even if it does not have its own renewable targets. He discloses there are $12 billion investments in the pipeline, including 3,200 megawatts of approved projects and 4,800 megawatts pending approval.

Among Australian states, the local Labor government of the Australian Capital Territory has legislated for a 100 percent renewable energy target by 2020. But it would be at risk on Saturday when Canberra residents go to precincts for territory elections.

The Guardian notes that eight in 10 Canberra residents support the state’s 100 percent renewable energy target, while the city has one of the highest domestic installation bases per capita of rooftop solar. But the Canberra Liberals are against the expansion of renewable energy, and in 2014, complained about the ugly impact of the renewable energy target.

VIDEO: Rural Australia and the Renewable Energy Target

Source: GetUp! Australia