The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) will have no effect on Australia’s carbon emissions and should be shunned by the states, according to former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Oliver Yates when discussing the NEG carbon emissions plan.
Oliver Yates told the Guardian that states and territories should not sign up for the NEG in its present form. He said stakeholders should wait until it contains meaningful emissions reductions.
Yates said the NEG simply extends the possibility for coal to exist in the energy grid. “It’s absolutely of no benefit to the national transition away from emissions,” he said.
“The only thing it does is help people producing emissions to know they don’t have to reduce their emissions over the next 10 years.”
NEG carbon emissions target too low to make a difference
The current NEG target is 26 per cent of 2005 emissions by 2030. This ‘target’ is already met, according to renewable energy projections.
Although Yates said he understood the pressure on political parties to reach a policy consensus on energy, the NEG was not it.
“Agreeing on a mechanism is fine but the mechanism can’t be implemented, it can’t come live, without a meaningful emissions target,” he said.
ACT says it will not sign up for NEG
The ACT has already foreshadowed the NEG’s failure when it comes up for approval on August 10.
Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury said on Tuesday that it would be “very difficult” to sign up to the NEG in its present form.
“The ACT has been very clear that we cannot sign up to the deal in its current form,” Rattenbury said.
“The 26-28 per cent emissions reduction target is clearly not ambitious enough, and will make the task [of lowering emissions] more costly, more difficult and certainly more politically difficult than cutting from electricity sector.”
AEMO releases electricity market report
Yates weighs in to the debate following the release of a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
The report says coal-fired plants could go on producing energy for more than 20 years as Australia transitions to renewables.
According to the report, demand for power from the grid is also falling. This is due to major growth in rooftop solar installations and more battery storage. Increased energy efficiency also plays its part.