August 28, 2017 / 4:16 AM / 2 days ago
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia could adopt a clean energy target by the end of the year, heeding the call of national energy providers and scientists as a means to cut carbon emissions and cap soaring power prices.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government was “carefully considering” the recommendation by the nation’s chief scientist Alan Finkel as a way to ensure affordable, reliable and cleaner power.
“We’re certainly aiming to make a decision by the end of the year,” Turnbull told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Finkel in June led a list of recommendations presented to the government aimed at ending a decade of political warfare over climate policy, meaning coal-fired power generation using carbon-capture technology could potentially be used alongside gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar.
Energy companies argue they need long-term policy certainty to invest in new power generation and bring down electricity bills – and the key to unlocking that was to roll out a national clean energy target.
The government is awaiting a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator, which Turnbull labeled “a critical thing” before moving to decide on a target.
“First, we need to be satisfied as to what the gap in baseload power is going to be over the next five and 10 years,” he said.