CANBERRA, AAP – Australia’s energy minister has again flagged a plan to incentivise coal-fired power stations to remain open for “as long as needed”.
Angus Taylor, who is also the federal minister responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, will use a speech on Tuesday to spruik changes he says are needed to the energy system.
The minister says a mix of technologies is needed to ensure power is affordable and reliable.
“This requires strong market signals that both encourage investment in new dispatchable generation to replace our ageing thermal generator fleet, and incentivise our existing thermal generators to remain in our market for as long as needed,” Mr Taylor will tell the industry forum.
He has previously said he wanted to change how the power system works so energy giants would pay coal power stations to remain open.
It would mean dispatchable power stations like coal and gas are paid for being available, rather than for when they are used.
“This would shift the contracting requirements from virtual commitments to contracts linked to physical resources,” Mr Taylor will say.
“In addition, new markets that value and procure, in an efficient way, the inherent qualities of dispatchable generation – like operating reserves and inertia – are also vital.”
Mr Taylor has not committed to net zero emissions or a date, instead using his speech to talk up the importance of coal-fired thermal power.
Energy officials are developing plans for how the power system should look after 2025.
A major shift is being propelled by a surge of renewable energy, which is cheaper than ageing fossil fuel power stations.
The federal government last week announced it would spend up to $600 million on building a new gas-fired power station in NSW, which experts say is not needed.