States threaten to take CET into own hands

Australian states could “go it alone” on a clean energy target if the Federal Government fails to support it, South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said.

A clean energy target has been recommended as the most effective mechanism to fix the country’s energy crisis by chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel in his Final Report of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market.

Of the 50 recommendations handed down, all have been supported by the government except for the clean energy target.

Mr Koutsantonis said the SA government was in discussions with other states about the possibility of implementing a clean energy target if inaction from the Federal Government continued.

He said he would ask the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to model how a mechanism would be implemented.

“The time to act is now – Australian households and businesses cannot be held hostage by the impotence of the Federal Liberal Government,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“Every energy expert, industry group and major business has called for a market mechanism like the clean energy target to drive new private sector investment in the National Electricity Market.

“But the only thing standing in the way of lower prices, improve grid security and meeting our carbon reduction commitments is a divided Federal Liberal Party that is completely beholden to the coal lobby.

“Enough is enough. The Federal Government must endorse chief scientist Alan Finkel’s recommendation to implement a market mechanism that drives investment in new generation, or the states will do it for them.”