A leading think-tank has lashed out at plans by the Victorian government to introduce an auction scheme for renewable energy, which could at the very least serve to complicate moves by the federal government to rein in carbon emissions.
In a submission to the Victorian government, the Grattan Institute argued that “renewable energy support schemes are poor policy choices that have a history of delivering sub-optimal outcomes”.
The Victorian government has said it wants to boost to 40 per cent the role of renewables in supplying electricity by 2025 and introduce an auction scheme to deliver up to 5400 megawatts of additional generation capacity.
The proposed scheme follows the intense lobbying last year to clarify the existing federal scheme to have 20 per cent of all electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020, since weak demand for electricity would have made it difficult to achieve the target.
At the very least, the Victorian government should work with the federal and other state governments to implement integrated and consistent policies aimed at delivering “effective and efficient integrated energy and climate change policies”, the institute said in its submission to the state government.
“South Australia is an important wake-up call,” Tony Wood, the head of the Institute’s energy program said, referring to the difficulties of not thinking through the full impact of raising the level of renewables on power supplies.
There, renewables have forced out baseload power supplies which has left the state vulnerable to supply shocks, serving to hike power prices.
“Unilateral action by any state or territory will cut across any [global and national] policies and may simply increase their cost without any net environmental benefit,” it wrote in its submission.
The story Grattan Institute urges caution on renewable targets first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.