Media Releases | 20th Jun, 2022

Response to Energy Security Board report

In response to the report from the Energy Security Board (ESB) suggesting that coal and gas generators should be paid to stay open, Environment Victoria’s CEO Jono La Nauze said today:

“The notion of paying fossil fuel generators to stay open is one of the most backward looking ideas to have emerged from the Morrison era and should have been retired at the election.

“The only people attached to this idea appear to be the Energy Security Board and the coal and gas industry.

“We applaud Minister D’Ambrosio’s strong stance against payments to coal and gas power stations in Victoria.

Any move to prop up aging and polluting power stations is wrong-headed and ignores the many years of work that have gone into building reliable renewable energy capacity.

“Across the board, stakeholders from environment groups to big business have rejected this idea as have energy ministers of every political persuasion.

“When energy ministers emerged from their recent crisis talks it was clear that – at a ministerial level at least – a new era of sensibility and cooperation had arrived.

“The Energy Security Board seems to have missed the memo – and their report reflects outdated thinking on how to solve the energy crisis.

“The so-called renewable energy ‘drought scenarios’ used to justify such payments to the fossil fuel industry do not take into account renewable energy advances currently underway in Victoria – including the massive 9-gigawatt off-shore wind development of Gippsland.

“The federal election overwhelmingly demonstrated that Australians are tired of governments giving handouts to the fossil fuel industry, only to have them turn around and hold us hostage to their profiteering.

“If the Energy Security Board can’t read the memo they could at least read the room. No more handouts to coal and gas – we need to permanently get gas lobbyists out of our nation’s energy policy development.

“Too much unreliable coal in the NEM has caused this problem. Paying to keep it in the system would be a kick in the guts to households as inflation takes off. We must use this as an opportunity to thoroughly reform the NEM to make it genuinely – and cleanly – fit for purpose in the future.

“The ESB’s proposal won’t solve the problem that created the current crisis. It will just leave Victorians vulnerable to future price shocks, and increase monthly power bills while putting money in coal executives’ pockets.”

Media contact

James Norman, Media and Content Manager

Ph: 0451291775