Essay by Eric Worrall
“No one asked any of us”: A federal plan for states to share the carbon offset cost of new gas field development has not been well received.
Tensions emerge between state and federal governments over Australia’s energy grid roadmap
Exclusive: disquiet points to jockeying among jurisdictions and impatience over the rollout of renewables
Peter Hannam Sun 23 Jul 2023 06.00 AEST
Cracks in the unity of the nation’s energy ministers have emerged amid disquiet over a review of power grid plans and an effort by the federal government to force carbon offsets from big new gas fields on to the states.
“Any review has to align with the ambitions of each jurisdiction,” one official said. “We’re not there for the commonwealth to tell us what to do.”
At the meeting, Bowen also surprised state and territory counterparts with a plan for them to pay for the carbon offsets that will be required for the proposed Beetaloo and other new gas fields in the Northern Territory. The commonwealth would underwrite the pipeline to bring the gas south.
States, however, pushed back, with Western Australia and Queensland particularly opposed to the precedent of assigning offsets for the so-called scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions that would result, another official said.
“No one asked any of us” about the offsets plan, the first official said, adding the market for carbon credits would struggle to cope with existing demand without lumping in major new emissions sources such as Beetaloo. “It’s not our problem.”
The Clean Energy Council industry group said investors committed to only 400MW of new capacity in the first half of 2023. Some 5 gigawatts – more than 10 times that amount – was needed yearly if emissions reduction goals for the power sector were to be met by 2030, the council said.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jul/23/integrated-system-plan-energy-grid-roadmap-state-federal-tension
This is quite a turnaround for Energy and Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen. Bowen is one of the most climate enthusiast federal government ministers in Australia’s history.
Who could have predicted Bowen would become a fossil fuel promoter? Perhaps energy grid reality is catching up with Bowen’s green energy fantasies.
The truth is Australia’s electricity grid is in desperate trouble. Renewable investment has failed to materialise at anything like the scale the government hoped. According to the article above, only 400MW of investment appeared in the first half of 2023, rather than the 5GW the federal Net Zero target requires.
The Victorian State Government is so worried about the lack of investment in green energy, they pumped in some taxpayer cash, only to see private investors back off even harder, over concerns public money would crowd out opportunities for private investors.
Adding to the pressure for action, a looming El Nino promises an exceptionally hot Southern Hemisphere Summer for Australia.
If the Aussie grid suffers a hard fail during a heatwave, questions will be asked, questions a green obsessed federal government which has driven accelerated coal plant closures with threats of carbon pricing will be hard pressed to answer.
For more information on the impossibilities and inconsistencies of the global Net Zero push click here.