Mining and Heavy Industries

Energy review puts carbon price in spotlight

Coal. Photo: Shutterstock.

The Finkel review of Australia’s electricity market is being asked to consider a price on carbon, with the NSW Government, BHP Billiton and several major energy users among those pushing for the change.

Submissions for the Finkel energy review were released on Friday.

The Finkel review of Australia’s electricity market is being asked to consider a price on carbon, with the NSW Government, BHP Billiton and several major energy users among those pushing for the change.

Submissions for the Finkel energy review were released on Friday.

Hundreds of submissions were published, from a wide range of concerned individuals and businesses.

The need for a new carbon price was one of the common themes in a number of submissions.

The Energy Users Association of Australia said the carbon price “has become something of a political football resulting in an ad-hoc policy environment full of risk and uncertainty,” and called for the review to recommend the re-introduction of a carbon price for Australian businesses.

“The EUAA are concerned that energy and climate change policy, including renewable energy policy, has tended to be pursued in policy silos by state and federal governments, which has and will continue to result in significant market disruption and unintended consequences.

“In the absence of long-term coordinated national energy and climate policy, energy users continue to face unprecedented pressures on the costs and availability of electricity and gas for their operations.”

A carbon price that recognises those businesses exposed to energy intensive industries, the EUAA believes, is the best way to encourage emissions reductions while maintaining business confidence.

Other advocates for a carbon price included Energy Networks Australia, which called for “a stable carbon policy, including a trading scheme for generator emissions”.

General Electric said the idea “warrants further consideration” in the medium and long term.

And BHP Billiton said the easiest way for Australia to achieve the mix of renewable and non-renewable energy sources needed was through a carbon price.

The mining giant recommended “to put a price on carbon emissions for the electricity system, and to require technologies to offer a secure product to the market”.

Review chairman Alan Finkel welcomed the submissions, saying his panel would deliver a report by the middle of 2017.

“The breadth and depth of these submissions is a mark of the community’s determination to help shape the future of our electricity sector,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend