ACT to seek improvements to the National Energy Guarantee

Released 06/08/2018 - Joint media release

The ACT Government will use the upcoming Energy Council meeting to seek significant improvements to the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to attempt to make it into a workable energy policy.

The ACT Cabinet has agreed that the ACT should only support a national energy policy that will genuinely help the National Energy Market transition to a more modern, sustainable, affordable, and reliable system.

The current NEG proposal does not do that, and in fact may have a negative impact in the areas it claims it will improve.

The ACT Cabinet agreed on several critical issues that need improvement in the current NEG proposal:

  • Emissions: The NEG’s 26% emission reduction target in the electricity sector is inadequate, will not meet Australia’s climate change targets, and will cause detrimental environmental and economic outcomes, including for electricity consumers. This target needs to be increased. The final design mechanism should not unreasonably lock in targets. The review of the target needs to be made more rigorous and occur earlier.
  • “Additionality”: The ACT Government and other jurisdictions must be able to have more ambitious renewable electricity and emissions targets, and these targets additional to the national emissions reduction target for the electricity sector, and this is confirmed by the draft NEL Amendment Bill.
  • Conflict with ACT scheme: The current NEG proposal interferes with the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity mechanism. These issues have not yet been resolved. They require further consideration, including legal advice.

The ACT will remain at the table to work through these issues with the Commonwealth and other states and territories.

ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, said “The ACT has been a leader in Australian climate policy for over a decade. We will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity in 2020, and have driven the establishment of new major wind and solar facilities in the Canberra region and beyond, creating thousands of new jobs in the process.

“We can only support a national energy policy that genuinely advances renewable energy, and energy affordability. The Commonwealth’s proposed NEG contains serious problems that need to be addressed or consumers and the climate will both lose out,” said Mr Barr.

“The ACT, and Australia, needs an energy policy that will actually address the complex challenges we face,” ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said today.

“Climate change, affordability, and reliability are all critical issues we need to address properly or we will simply face greater challenges in the future. The ACT has worked in good faith to try and improve the NEG throughout the entire process, and the Commonwealth has so far failed to respond.

“We continue to urge Minister Frydenberg to come to the table with a clear plan for action on energy policy – so that we might work together to bring down prices for consumers, while contributing to real action on climate,” said Mr Rattenbury.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

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