At a critical time for the sector, and following a series of major leadership changes in Canberra, Angus Taylor has been announced as the new Federal Minister for Energy.
Following the announcement of his appointment, Mr Taylor thanked outgoing Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, for his considerable contribution to the energy sector.
Mr Taylor’s stance on renewable energy and climate has previously come under scrutiny, with one Twitter user describing the minister as a “climate sceptic violently opposed to renewables.”
Following the announcement of his appointment, Mr Taylor also turned to Twitter.
“It’s a great honour to be asked to join Scott Morrison’s Cabinet as Minister for Energy, or as he described it, ‘the Minister for reducing electricity prices’. A tough job, but an extremely important one that has a big impact on so many Australian households and businesses.”
When questioned about the importance of emissions and the future of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), Mr Taylor commented that the NEG is “about reliability, price, keeping the lights on and getting prices down.”
With discussion continuing on the country’s energy policy, the industry has not hesitated to comment on the appointment.
Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, said the energy portfolio is a challenging one and said he looked forward to working with Minister Taylor on helping move energy policy forward.
“Never has there been a time when there’s been such a focus on the sector, with Australia’s complex energy system transforming rapidly,” Mr Dillon said.
“Enduring policies that can deliver affordable and reliable energy as we transition to a low emissions future continue to be the priority for energy networks.
“I look forward to briefing Minister Taylor on how a more connected future can increase competition, and how we are working with the Australian Energy Market Operator to create Open Energy Networks that can harness the growing level of distributed generation to put downward pressure on prices.”
The Australian Energy Council (AEC) has also congratulated Mr Taylor on the appointment, and also offered its thanks to former Environment and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, for his commitment to energy policy and constructive work within the sector.
The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah, McNamara, said, “Minister Taylor comes to the energy portfolio at a critical time for the sector, which faces a range of pressures.
“A national energy policy must remain a top priority for the government. It is vital that the industry has the necessary framework to deliver affordable and reliable power, while we continue to manage an energy market in transition.
“The energy industry looks forward to working with Minister Taylor in his new role and assisting him with these challenges.”
Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.
After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.