Smarter, cleaner energy system should be priority for COAG: CEC

An intention to deliver a zero-emission energy sector by 2050 should be the first priority underpinning the development of a national energy strategy when state and federal Energy Ministers meet this Friday, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) said.

CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said the first meeting of the COAG Energy Council since the Federal Election provided an important opportunity to better align carbon and energy policy and set a clear path to modernise and decarbonise Australia’s electricity sector.

“The combination of Energy and Environment into a single portfolio under Minister Josh Frydenberg provides a clear opportunity to better align these crucial policy areas and develop a strategic plan to manage Australia’s transition to a cleaner, low-cost and reliable energy system into the future,” Mr Thornton said.

“Our energy system has performed very well to date, but change is required to ensure that it can accommodate greater levels of renewable energy into the future.”

The clean energy industry has provided a set of recommendations to the COAG Energy Council to allow clean technology to better support the energy system and help to deliver a zero-emission energy sector by 2050.

“These reforms can ensure we take advantage of sophisticated renewable energy and battery storage systems to support the energy system and also strengthen network infrastructure and inter-connection between regions. These are all crucial elements of a 21st century energy system,” Mr Thornton said.

“More than 1.5 million homes and businesses now produce their own power, which is just one example of why more flexibility is required now than when the National Electricity Market was first designed.”