AGL boss pushes for clean energy target

AGL Energy CEO Andy Vesey

Failing to implement the clean energy target would be like driving a car without wheels, according to AGL chief executive officer Andy Vesey.

In an opinion piece written in The Courier-Mail, Mr Vesey said the recommendations handed down in the Finkel review were too important to “cherry-pick”.

“They work together to deliver certainty and a more stable pathway on the way to a carbon constrained future,” he wrote.

Remove one of those recommendations, like a clean energy target for example, and you’re left with a car without wheels.

“Implement Finkel in total, and there will be significant new investment in energy generation across the country which will begin to moderate energy prices.

“Business can’t afford to wait for certainty and our customers cannot wait as well because the price of inaction is a decline in the rate of investment in new energy infrastructure, which means a decline in supply and a rise in energy bills.”

In April, AGL announced it would be retiring its coal assets by 2050, and have committed to net zero emissions by 2050.

“Some people have chosen to take energy costs into their own hands, with almost one-in-four Australian homes now equipped with rooftop solar. In Queensland, 30 per cent of households have solar panels,” Mr Vesey wrote.

“As someone responsible for deciding where millions of dollars of shareholders’ money should be invested, we carefully weigh all of these signals against risks from policy uncertainty.

“AGL has made a considered investment decision that new coal-fired power won’t be part of our portfolio, but renewables will.

“That’s the reality. I’m not saying there will be no investment in new coal – just that AGL won’t invest there.”