INSIDE: SENATOR CANAVAN SAYS REGION A ‘POWERHOUSE FOR NATION’
STANDING in front of the 750MW Kogan Creek Power Station yesterday morning, Queensland Senator Matt Canavan declared the Western Downs a “powerhouse for the nation”.
“You’ve got coal, you’ve got gas, you’ve got renewables,” he said.
“We’ve got to stop putting all our eggs in one basket – we need all kinds of power to bring power prices down and keep our competitiveness as a country.”
The Federal Government this week announced the acceptance of 49 of 50 recommendations from the recent Finkel Review into the future security of the National Electricity Market.
The release of the Finkel Review last month prompted concerns within Western Downs Regional Council over changes to government policy – specifically the requirement for power storage and batteries alongside renewable energy development.
The worry was that the additional requirements could potentially derail investment in solar energy across the Western Downs.
But Senator Canavan eased those concerns yesterday, saying the review wasn’t “explicit” in saying renewables required battery storage to be attached to the developments.
“It has to have the ability of some level of backup is what (Finkel) recommended,” Senator Canavan said.
“It doesn’t spell out how many hours or the particular technological backup there should be, just that there should be the provision that renewables can provide some kind of certainty in the energy system.”
Senator Canavan pointed to the recent power blackouts in South Australia where he said intermittent energy sources supplied up to 40% of the state’s power.
“The back-up requirements will be calibrated to the specifics of the region’s electricity system,” he said.
“The big issue in South Australia was that there was no baseload power, they relied on the power line from Victoria to keep them going and that put them in a vulnerable position.
“You don’t have that situation here because you have places like Kogan Creek, Callide up the road, you’re in a resilient part of our electricity network.
“I just make the point that I think you are in an area of great attraction of renewable energy investment because you have the resilience from having a significant baseload power system, so this is a good place to do things like solar.”
POWER TALKS: Maranoa MP David Littleproud and Queensland Senator Matt Canavan talk energy security outside Kogan Creek Power Station on Wednesday morning.