Monday, 22 February 2021
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Energy Security Board stated in January 2021 that the system security of the power grid is at a critical status after the influx of renewable energy into the system,
(ii) in February:
(A) the River Thames froze for the first time in over 50 years,
(B) hundreds of United States cities recorded their coldest temperatures in decades,
(C) wind turbines in Texas froze solid, and
(D) solar panels in Germany were blanketed in snow,
(iii) naturally variable weather events place serious strain on power grids,
(iv) relying on weather-dependent power generation to save us from weather events is a recipe for power failure, and
(v) reliable baseload power is essential to provide safety and security for Australians; and
(b) calls on the Government to urgently commence the construction of reliable, baseload power generation.
The coalition government is a strong advocate of reliable generation to complement and balance renewables and help deliver affordable, reliable power for Australian consumers. This is why we committed to Snowy 2.0, which will deliver 2,000 megawatts of fast-start, dispatchable energy and provide 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage. This is also why we will support a new gas fired generator in the Hunter Valley to replace Liddell if the private sector doesn't step up. It will provide the flexible generation we need to secure our electricity grid and put downward pressure on prices. We need more of the firmed generation that technologies like gas and hydro provide that will keep prices low and the lights on.
Question agreed to.