The Liberal Nationals acknowledge that renewable sources of energy play an important, and increasingly significant role in Victoria’s energy supply.
However, over the past 5 years, Daniel Andrews and Labor have made and broken many bold promises about the impact their energy policies will have on both electricity supply and price.
In January, Labor’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said that Victoria would not have blackouts. The following day, 200,000 Victorians suffered through 40 degree heat without power.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has warned in its latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities report that up to 1.3 million Victorians face blackout this coming summer due to Labor’s reckless energy policies.
In April 2016, in a Government media release from Labor Treasurer, Tim Pallas, said:
“Victoria has and will continue to have the lowest cost of energy production in Australia.”
Despite this commitment, under Daniel Andrews the wholesale price of electricity has more than tripled.
AEMO’s Quarterly Energy Dynamics – Q1 2019 report details that the average spot wholesale electricity price for the 1st quarter of 2019 was $166/MWh.
This was a record high price for Victoria, and higher than New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.
History shows that Victorians just can’t trust Daniel Andrews and Labor when it comes ensuring Victorians have reliable and affordable electricity.
In considering Labor’s Renewable Energy Bill the Liberal Nationals have identified 19 questions that Daniel Andrews needs to answer:
- Can the government guarantee that retail and wholesale electricity prices will not rise dramatically, impacting Victorian families and businesses, as it did following the closure of Hazelwood?
- Can the government guarantee that retail and wholesale gas prices will not rise dramatically, impacting Victorian families and businesses?
- Given that since 2015 wholesale electricity prices have tripled in Victoria, what guarantees are there that a 50% VRET will not continue this trend?
- How can a 50% VRET be met without the closure of baseload generators?
- Will the government release the modelling which shows that a 50% VRET can be met without the premature closing of Victoria’s coal fired generators?
- Where is the investment required in battery storage to maintain baseload power if power stations are closed?
- If units at the Loy Yang and Mortlake power plants are out of action how can the government guarantee electricity supply this coming summer?
- Given Victoria barely has enough power generation to keep up with peak demand, how will any closure of an existing power plant not have an ongoing impact on energy security?
- Given AEMO has identified future shortfalls in gas supply, why will the Andrews Government not lift the moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration?
- What is the government doing to secure energy supply and prevent unplanned load shedding this coming summer?
- Has the government spoken to South Australia regarding keeping the Torrens Island Power Station open longer in the event that Loy Yang and/or Mortlake are not fully operational this coming summer?
- What guarantees can the government give that a 50% VRET won’t lead to higher unemployment in the Latrobe Valley and further damage local economic growth?
- Will there be any detrimental effect on the Victorian economy or on Gross State Product as a result of meeting a 50% VRET?
- Will any industry sectors bear a disproportionate burden of the impact of a VRET and if so, to what extent?
- What will be the direct cost to the Victorian budget in the event that energy prices continue to increase?
- Who will pay for the upgrades required to Victoria’s transmission network?
- How will the Victorian government prevent additional transmission network costs from being forced on to Victorian families and businesses?
- Will the Victorian government remove bureaucratic red tape, as NSW has done, to enable upgrades to the transmission network to be completed in a timely fashion?
- How will the expanded VRET work alongside federal regulatory mechanisms that seek to improve energy system reliability, affordability and security while also encouraging a greater uptake of renewables?