(Australian Associated Press)
The federal government is planning to underwrite projects for power generation so the electricity grid becomes more reliable.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the scheme is technology agnostic and projects will be decided based on their business cases.
Injecting more power into the grid from multiple generators will increase competition in the market and eventually lower power bills, the government argues.
The government’s aim is to reduce wholesale prices by 25 to 30 per cent by 2021.
TO COAL OR NOT TO COAL
Coalition members have been publicly divided on whether or not to put taxpayer money towards a new coal-fired power station. The shortlist includes an upgrade to a coal project, so all eyes will be peeled on whether this gets the green light.
Queensland Nationals MP were the most vocal about their support for coal projects and it appears Mr Morrison has reached a truce with them. He has announced a $10 million feasibility study into ways to meet the energy needs of heavy industry in the state’s north. This includes a project in Collinsville, which is home to the state’s oldest coal mine.
Barnaby Joyce has assumed a coal project will get the go-ahead, declaring the announcement a win.
Combined, the shortlisted projects create about one-third of the National Electricity Market’s emissions.
THE DOZEN PROJECTS ON THE TABLE
1. Coal station upgrade at Lake Macquarie, NSW – Delta
2. Gas project in East Gippsland, VIC – Alinta Energy
3. Gas at Reeves Plains, SA – Alinta Energy
4. Gas at Gatton, QLD – Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners
5. Gas in Dandenong, VIC – APA Group
6. Gas at Port Kembla, NSW – Australian Industrial Energy
7. Hydro in Lincoln Gap, SA – Sunset Power Pty Ltd and Delta Electricity Pty Ltd
8. Hydro at Baroota, SA – Rise Renewables
9. Hydro in Armidale, NSW – UPC Renewables
10. Hydro at Crows Nest, QLD – BE Power Solutions
11. Hydro at Eyre Peninsula, SA – SIMEC Zen Energy
12. Hydro in Tasmania – Hydro Tasmania: Battery of the Nation