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Crunch time for Turnbull’s energy plan

national energy guarantee photo Dan Himbrechts

Two articles from The Conversation examine the federal government’s domestic energy landscape

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dearly needs a political win, especially after the July ‘Super Saturday’ by-election results, but his proposed national energy guarantee (NEG) is looking shaky heading into crucial talks with the States and Territories in August.

Victorian minister plays hardball with Turnbull on the NEG

By Michelle Grattan, The Conversation. 31 July 2018.

THE TURNBULL GOVERNMENT is facing fresh trouble over its energy policy ahead of a crucial meeting next week, with Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio warning that the state won’t be rushed into signing onto the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

In a speech to be delivered on Tuesday, D’Ambrosio will play on dissent in the Coalition, saying: “Malcolm Turnbull is trying to get us to sign up to something that hasn’t gone to his own party room – a place full of climate sceptics”.

“Every time we get close to a national energy policy, the Coalition party room shoots it down,” she will tell a clean energy summit in Sydney. An extract from her speech was issued ahead of its delivery.

“How can we have any confidence in what they’re asking from us if it hasn’t been through his party room first?

>> Read the full article here.


Meantime, questions are being asked about why the government hasn’t released the modelling that underpins the NEG.

The National Energy Guarantee is a flagship policy. So why hasn’t the modelling been made public?

By Bruce Mountain, The Conversation. 31 July 2018.

CENTRAL TO THE PUBLIC debate about the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) has been the numerical forecasts of its effects – in particular how much it will reduce power prices. In a democracy whose households pay some of the world’s highest electricity bills, it is obvious why this measure should shape the narrative on energy policy.

But Plato tells us that good decisions are based on knowledge, not numbers. What’s more, electricity markets are incredibly complex, and therefore not amenable to straightforward predictions.

The Energy Security Board has put numbers at the centre of its NEG proposal, but the basis of these numbers is not clear. With 22 colleagues at 10 other Australian universities, we are calling for state and territory ministers to ensure that the ESB’s modelling is available for proper scrutiny. I explain here why I support this request …

>> Read the full article here.

TOP IMAGE: Taking the long view is difficult when it comes to something as complex as energy policy. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

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