NEG plan pow­ers on

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI NA­TIONAL

FED­ERAL and State en­ergy min­is­ters have agreed to progress to the fi­nal de­sign stage of the Na­tional En­ergy Guar­an­tee (NEG); the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s shiny new en­ergy pol­icy that aims to de­liver more af­ford­able and re­li­able elec­tric­ity. Formed last year by the COAG En­ergy Coun­cil’s re­cently es­tab­lished En­ergy Se­cu­rity Board (ESB), the NEG will be made up of dual guar­an­tees that re­quire elec­tric­ity re­tail­ers across the Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket (NEM) to meet their load obli­ga­tions with a port­fo­lio of re­sources. In April, min­is­ters de­clared their sup­port for fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion on the de­sign. “As part of this process, ESB will con­sult with ju­ris­dic­tions on the spe­cific de­tails of the de­sign,” COAG stated. “The meet­ing noted that the States have raised is­sues that will re­quire fur­ther work ahead of the Au­gust meet­ing. “Min­is­ters agreed to con­vene again in a phone hook-up in June to dis­cuss the progress of the de­tailed de­sign.” Fed­eral en­ergy min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg said “there was a lot of good will in the room, and while there is still much work to do, there was a com­mit­ment to get­ting an out­come in Au­gust”. He added that modelling un­der­taken by the ESB showed whole­sale elec­tric­ity prices could de­crease by 23 per cent un­der the Guar­an­tee. Ai Group chief ex­ec­u­tive Innes Wil­lox said months of hard work were now re­quired to have a fleshed out scheme for adop­tion in Au­gust. “It will be par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to forge com­pro­mise be­tween the Com­mon­wealth and the States, and both sides of Fed­eral pol­i­tics, over emis­sions re­duc­tion am­bi­tion,” Mr Wil­lox said. "It is clear that the scope of am­bi­tion will con­tinue to evolve, and that all sides are com­mit­ted to their ap­proaches.” Vic­to­ria, for ex­am­ple, has not held back its hes­i­ta­tion in sign­ing the NEG, claim­ing that States’ own re­new­able en­ergy tar­gets need to be hon­ored un­der any agree­ment. “We will act in good faith on the de­vel­op­ment of the NEG… [but] sig­nif­i­cant is­sues re­main to be ad­dressed in the High Level De­sign Doc­u­ment and Com­mon­wealth De­sign El­e­ments pa­per, in­clud­ing set­ting the emis­sions tar­get, EITES, off­sets, State ad­di­tion­al­ity, the set­ting of the re­li­a­bil­ity stan­dard, and mar­ket power mit­i­ga­tion and other tech­ni­cal mat­ters,” Vic­to­ria En­ergy, En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change min­is­ter Lily D'am­bro­sio said.

Im­age: Pex­els.

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