WA snubs National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to forge its own renewable energy policy

WA Government chooses state renewable energy policy over federal NEG.

The Western Australian government has rejected the federal National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in favour of its own renewable energy policy.

WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt says WA is determined not to be dragged into the east coast energy market “nightmare”.

According to Mr Wyatt, WA’s energy market is functioning effectively and on-track to reduce carbon emissions.

As reported in the West Australian, the WA government is also keen to monitor development of the NEG to avoid negative impact on the state.

In fact, the east coast understands WA has “got it right”, Mr Wyatt says. Its initiatives include reserve capacity market and a range of other energy structures.

With so many households seeking solar quotes, the rapid increase in solar panel uptake actually risks overwhelming WA’s largest grid.

WA’s renewable energy policy could help eastern states

WA wants to help the eastern states resolve the nightmare they’ve walked into, Mr Wyatt claims.

WA Government chooses renewable energy policy for state rather than signing up to federal NEG.

Emu Downs solar and wind farm part of WA Government’s commitment to renewable energy. Image: ARENA

Yet Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is ignoring the offer. He says the NEG is chiefly aimed at the eastern states anyway.

Tasmania is also keen to work outside the NEG, while South Australia’s brand new Liberal Government may also opt in.

The NEG is apparently able to go ahead without WA signing up. The federal government is therefore focused on winning over the eastern states to guarantee NEG success.

Meanwhile, modelling shows electricity price cuts stem in fact from solar  energy and renewable projects built under the existing Renewable Energy Target (RET), which ends in 2020.

According to independent EY analysis, the NEG is also likely to scrap investment in large-scale wind and solar power.

Solar farms in WA ploughing ahead

Emu Downs solar farm opened this month with capacity to power 6,700 homes in south west WA.

Consisting of 75,168 solar panels on around 70 hectares, the $50 million project sits beside Emu Downs wind farm.

Work also started this month on the new 10 MW Northam Solar Farm project. The farm has been developed by Carnegie Clean Energy in partnership with local indigenous groups.

It’s expected to generate enough power for 3,000 households over the next 25 years, according to the state government.