House debates

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Distinguished Visitors

Renewable Energy

2:18 pm

Photo of Angus TaylorAngus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Minister for Energy) Share this | Hansard source

We have seen the results, where in South Australia we now have prices at around 50c per kilowatt hour. They are amongst the highest in the country. We have also seen that, despite the fact that with 50c a kilowatt hour, you would expect to have high service levels and reliability, you are not getting that. South Australia is a great state, but it is held back by one key factor, which is the high prices of energy, which is driven by an absolutely unacceptable target. Those opposite want to have a 45 per cent emissions reduction target and a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target. They want to take Jay Weatherill's experiment and take it national. The result will be that we will all pay more for our electricity.

We are absolutely confident that in the absence of those subsidies we will get the investment we need in the network, and we're doing that through our plan, which has three parts. The first of those parts is that we're going to back 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.

On top of that, we will be setting a retail price safety net for all customers—it is those most in need who need this most, the sort of people who you would typically care for but you don't care for anymore. We are stopping the rip-offs from the big energy companies. We will drive prices down. That is our policy. Those opposite will drive them up.

Mr Conroy interjecting


Tibor Majlath
Posted on 19 Sep 2018 5:15 pm

How can the member blame everything on renewables?

Nearly 50% of the cost of electricity is due to the poles and wires charges which have risen by around 200% in the last 10 years. These charges have to be payed whether we use electricity or not.

There must be other causes of rising prices, surely? Didn't the recent gas shortages push up energy prices? The practice of shifting costs between an energy generator and its own retailer can also add to price pressures.

No wonder the energy problem managed to become a crisis when governments of all persuasions have such simplistic attitudes to its management.