Thursday, 19 October 2017
Questions without Notice
In the national electricity market, twice as much energy is traded as is dispatched. There is an enormous trading system within the energy market, both trading over the counter and through the Australian Stock Exchange. That won't change. That is the virtue of the model that has been presented—the mechanism that has been presented—by the Energy Security Board. Rather than having a subsidies scheme like the Renewable Energy Target or a clean energy target that operates outside the market, you have market rules both in terms of guaranteeing reliability and guaranteeing a level of emissions consistent with Paris. Within those constraints, trading can occur freely. That is why retailers, who are those burdened by those constraints, are able to achieve the mix of generation sources that suits them. They will all be able to find the lowest cost and most competitive way to deliver on those two obligations. That is the mechanism. That is why it's been recommended by the Energy Security Board.
Those on the other side who are keen students of energy policy will know that John Pierce, the chairman of the Energy Market Commission, has been proposing an approach like this for years—for at least seven years, he said today. He has always been a critic of the renewable energy target, or evolutions of it, because it does not operate within the confines of the market and therefore does not allow participants to achieve what we all seek to achieve—well, I hope the honourable members on the other side will finally see reason and recognise that what we have here is a real opportunity to make a break with the mistakes of the past, a real game changer, recommended by the experts. It's not a proposal that the minister and I cooked up; this is a recommendation from the experts. It is built on the foundations of the Finkel review. It has been praised and endorsed by the Chief Scientist. It comes from a body established on the recommendation of the Chief Scientist.
This is the mechanism that can end the climate wars and deliver affordable, reliable energy for Australians and meet our emissions reduction obligations. Surely at some point Labor has to stop the politicking and get on board for affordability, reliability and responsibility in Australia's energy system.