Scott Morrison has dismissed a stinging critique of Australia’s energy policy, saying claims of “anarchy” by the architect of the government’s dumped plan are rubbish.
Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott on Wednesday mourned the death of the National Energy Guarantee, which was abandoned when Malcolm Turnbull was knifed as prime minister.
But the current prime minister gave the short shrift to her policy grief, bluntly rejecting the idea the government had lost its way on energy.
“I don’t agree with that at all. I think that’s rubbish,” Mr Morrison told 3AW on Thursday.
Dr Schott told a conference she was still going through the stages of grief over the government’s one-time signature energy plan, but was yet to leave anger.
“I characterise the general state of affairs right now as anarchy,” she said.
Mr Morrison insists the government is still pursuing a reliability guarantee with state and territory governments, a feature of the NEG.
“What is necessary is that we need to get more reliability into the national energy market which covers the east coast of Australia,” he said.
He dismissed suggestions there was uncertainty about the government’s emission reduction commitments.
“Everybody knows what they are and we’re meeting them.”
Labor is yet to reveal its energy policy, but leader Bill Shorten says the coalition should call an election if it won’t revive the NEG.
“We need to recognise elements in the National Energy Guarantee which environmentalists and industry like,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday.
Coal would remain in the energy mix moving forward, but renewables would be cheaper and cleaner, he said.
“We need to have agreed policy in Australian politics about climate change and about energy.”
Meanwhile, the Australian Energy Market Operator has raised the prospect of incentives for battery storage to help stabilise the grid.
AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman says the uptake of household solar is having an impact on the energy grid, making it vital the right systems are in place to make all investments worthwhile.
“What I would like to see is, during the afternoons when we have all this excess solar, we use it to charge up batteries, and in the evening when the sun sets we use those batteries to discharge and help manage the grid,” Ms Zibelman told ABC radio on Thursday.