The new Federal Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, has identified two important issues: the Australian energy sector’s “major transition” towards renewables; and making sure the nation’s energy supply is “affordable, accessible and reliable” for both industry and consumers.
He has named August 19 for an urgent summit of federal and state energy ministers (COAG) to focus on how solar, power storage via batteries, and wind technologies can be combined into a system that keeps the Australian energy market stable and secure.
As well, a review recently announced by the Australian Energy Market Commission will provide recommendations and an interim report to the COAG Energy Council by the end of the year.
The urgency has been sparked by the recent power crisis in South Australia when the Government had to step in to ensure supply.
Mr Frydenberg is adamant that the fact SA has embraced alternative energy technologies wasn’t to blame for this crisis.
“People have to understand that this volatility is not a new thing,” he told ABC commentator Annabel Crabb last week. “It was back there in 2008 (before wind and solar power came to the fore) so to say that (this price spike) is the fault of renewables is not an accurate assessment.”
As the first minister to hold both the energy and environment portfolios Mr Frydenberg is under the spotlight from both traditional power producers and new players in the market.
A major problem Australia has is that the states have vastly differing energy policies. For example, renewables (mainly hydro) power 97 per cent of Tasmania’s energy needs while Queensland employs less than 5 per cent.
They also have different renewable energy targets going forward. NSW’s is 20 per cent by 2025 while South Australia’s is 50 per cent (it has a 40 per cent ratio now).
The meeting will also investigate ways to ensure energy investments are made in the long-term interests of energy consumers.
“I look forward to working with my state and territory colleagues as we seek to put in place policies that provide for a lower emissions future while ensuring affordable, accessible and stable energy supply,” Mr Frydenberg says.
Previously Australia’s Energy and Resources Minister, Mr Frydenberg was sworn in as Minister for the Environment and Energy on July 19 and postponed the COAG meeting already scheduled for a few days later.
He took over the Environment portfolio from Greg Hunt, who had been in the role since September 2013.
How big is the future of renewables? Energy Rating Systems notes that even Queensland has a target of 50 per cent (by 2030).
We know that continuing rising power bills have shaken consumers’ trust and made more than 50 per cent of Australians aspire to be self-sufficient in meeting their energy costs. This means the latest technology of solar power storage has relevance to these people.
ERS has secured long-term partnerships with major industry suppliers to provide a range of the best and latest technology covering eight important energy saving areas.