NSW Premier Morris Iemma’s comments that NSW will face black-outs in five years if the state’s electricity sector is not privatized have been branded “irresponsible scare tactics” by one Australia’s largest solar power companies, Energy Matters.
Mr Iemma caused uproar at the weekend by defying a 702 to 107 vote against the privatisation of the electricity industry in NSW at Labor’s state conference.
Markus Lambert Communication Manager of Energy Matters said: “Premier Iemma is simply wrong to claim that the lights will just go off if he does not proceed with his plans. Instead of hastily disposing of our power assets, simply because Labor government is scared of what the incoming carbon trading initiatives will mean for the value of these assets, solar power should be used to win vital time and then make considered decision in the best interest of the residents of NSW.”
“There is currently no issue with base load power in NSW, but there will be an issue with peak power supply in summer when the many air conditioners generate a very large jump in power needs during the day,” Mr Lambert added.
Solar power systems generate maximum electricity at the same time –during the hottest months of the year – that air-conditioners generate the peak load problem. One solar system on a residential roof produces pretty much the same energy as a medium size air-conditioner. The NSW Labor Government could avoid impending peak load crisis by investing in policies, which increase the utilisation of solar power to generate this electricity.
Mr Lambert says premier Iemma’s government would be better served adopting policy mechanisms that encourage the uptake of renewable energy solutions, such as solar feed-in tariffs, which have been adopted around the world, particularly in Europe.
“Unfortunately the NSW government, as with so many other infrastructure-related issues, has been inactive regarding solar feed-in tariffs. This is despite the South Australian, Victorian and ACT Governments taking steps to implement or finalise this solar power generating policy,” Mr Lambert said.
A solar feed-in tariff policy pays the consumer operating a solar energy system a premium for generating clean energy, allowing the owner of the system to generate a seven-to-ten-year pay pack cycle on the system. By applying the policy to all sectors, homes, businesses, local councils, public buildings, hospitals and churches can avoid the potential black-out crisis by generating their own renewable energy.
Mr Lambert says governments need to think seriously about renewable solutions NOW.
“It provides a simple and effective way for government, business and the community to achieve meaningful outcomes to combat climate change together. This would make NSW a world leadership model – benefiting all residents and helping to develop NSW as a leader in the Australian and global solar industries.
experience has shown that electricity prices through the feed-in tariff initiative will increase by between 3% and 5%, but this is nothing compared to the 100% increase in electricity prices predicted when debt laden private equity firms get their hands onto electricity price mechanisms,” Mr Lambert said.
“ “It would provide a way for government, business and the community to achieve meaningful outcomes to combat climate change together. This would make NSW a world leadership model – benefiting all residents and helping to develop NSW as a leader in the Australian & global solar industries.” Mr Lambert concluded.
Finally in regards to key initiatives regarding climate change it will be easier for the government to initiate world-class solutions if they own the energy assets, rather than hide behind excuses that it is industry which has to show leadership.” Mr Lambert concluded.