Property Australia

Why addressing all parts of the energy trilemma is essential

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA October 30, 2018

Driving down electricity costs is urgent but can only be achieved by addressing emissions and reliability, says a coalition of business and conservation groups, investors and social services.

The Property Council has joined a coalition of business, energy, conservation groups and social services groups to argue that all parts of the “energy trilemma” – reliability, price and emissions reductions – need to be addressed in national policy settings.

“Reducing electricity costs requires investment in electricity supply and unlocking this investment requires credible and stable policy,” the statement reads.

“Investors will only view policy as durable if it effectively addresses all parts of the trilemma, including meeting emissions reduction commitments.”

On Friday, energy ministers gathered for the latest COAG Energy Council meeting in Sydney, during which federal energy minister Angus Taylor secured support for the remaining pillar of the National Energy Guarantee, the Retailer Reliability Obligation.

COAG energy ministers have agreed to move ahead with the system reliability component of the NEG, despite the Commonwealth announcing it would not be moving forward with the emissions reduction component of the policy prior to August’s change of leadership.

Taylor also secured agreement to set a reference or comparison rate against which consumers can compare retail offers as a measure to reduce power bills.

In the official communique following the meeting, state and territory ministers noted their “support for an integrated national approach to emissions reduction across the economy”.

This week the Australian Government released a public consultation paper canvassing how the Commonwealth could underwrite new energy generation investments, to which the Property Council will respond.

“The Property Council supports Australia’s full participation in the Paris Agreement,” says Francesca Muskovic, the Property Council’s policy manager for sustainability and regulatory affairs.

“A major global transition towards lower emissions is already underway and we need policy frameworks for all sectors of the Australian economy to ensure a smooth, just transition can be made. The ultimate outcome of net zero emissions is both necessary and inevitable,” Ms Muskovic adds.

“We call on all sides of politics to deliver stable policy and investment certainty by addressing all parts of the energy trilemma – cost, reliability and emissions reduction.”

The coalition includes:

Ai Group

Australian Aluminium Council

Australian Conservation Foundation

Australian Council of Social Service

Australian Energy Council

Brotherhood of St Laurence

Business Council of Australia

Clean Energy Council

Energy Efficiency Council

Energy Networks Australia

Energy Users’ Association of Australia

Investor Group on Climate Change

Property Council of Australia

St Vincent de Paul Society

Uniting Communities