Morrison commits $1 billion to clean energy and grid

Big Stick, climate, Ai Group

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the government will provide an extra $1 billion to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to support the development of new generation and upgrade the transmission network to future-proof the grid and lower prices.

Mr Morrison said the new $1 billion funding, named the Grid Reliability Fund, is “yet another initiative” the government is taking to bring prices down and keep the lights on.

“We’re delivering immediate relief through our new price safety net and banning sneaky late payment fees but we’ve also got our eye to the future with the projects this new fund will back,” he said.

“Our work to date and this new initiative will help deliver an energy system that isn’t a roadblock to businesses growing and employing more people and that isn’t stinging ­family hip-pockets.”

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor said sufficient reliable generation capacity was critical in responding to high-remand periods, which are expected when Victorian and NSW coal-fired power stations are retired.

“It is no secret that the national electricity market is under –pressure,” Mr Taylor said.

“This fund is designed to tackle that and is part of a suite of initiatives that the government is delivering to ensure when people flick the switch, the lights come on and stay on.”

The Grid Reliability Fund will not be able to invest in fossil fuel projects.

On Monday, Mr Morrison announced the government would underwrite an upgrade of the Qld-NSW interconnector in a joint commitment with the Berejiklian government – a move commended by Energy Networks Australia.