Renewables targets to stay

The COAG Energy Council will meet this week in response to the South Australian state wide blackout.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council today meets in Melbourne for an emergency roundtable following the statewide blackout in South Australia last week.

Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg said the meeting would see briefings from experts discussing the practical aspects of incorporating large-scale wind farms into the electricity grid.

“Today at COAG we will hear from experts about some of the practical issues that arise from intermittent power generation, particularly wind and solar,” he said.

It is expected the Labor-led states will stick to their renewables targets

Queensland Energy and Water Minister Mark Bailey speaking on the ABC’s AM program said Queensland’s targets were based on the Paris Agreement and they would not be slowing down the transition to renewables.

“(Slowing the transition) is entirely inconsistent with our commitment with the Paris Agreement and in terms of acting on climate change,” Mr Bailey said.

“The reason the states are doing the heavy lifting here, up to 2030, is because the Federal Government has basically vacated the space.”

Mr Bailey said Queensland had a rigorous process setting the pathway to the 50 per cent target by 2030.

“We’ve got an expert panel driven by Colin Mugglestone, who’s an investment banker and infrastructure specialist from the private sector,” he said.

“(Our target) is over a 14-year period in an energy market where technology and information technology is absolutely galloping.

“Battery storage costs are plunging because the big car makers are moving into electric vehicles, so battery storage is becoming more viable all the time.

“So the cost of renewables is dropping all the time.

“These are all things that the Federal Government seems to be absolutely oblivious to.”