Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for the nation’s energy policy to focus on energy security rather than the type of technology used for delivery.
In a speech at the National Press Club, Mr Turnbull said, “The next incarnation of our national energy policy should be technology agnostic. It’s security and cost that matters most, not how you deliver it.
“Policy should be all of the above technologies, working together to deliver the trifecta of secure and affordable power while meeting our emission reduction commitments.”
Mr Turnbull said he had requested the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation work together on a new funding round for large-scale storage and other flexible capacity projects including pumped hydro.
Mr Turnbull said increasing gas supply in Australia was vital for the nation’s energy future and for industries and jobs, and said state bans on onshore gas development would result in more expensive and less reliable energy.
“Now, we’re willing to sit down with the states to determine the right incentives to enable desperately-needed, sustainable onshore gas development.”
Mr Turnbull also said coal-fired power stations could not simply be replaced by gas and said Australia could also provide both lower emissions and reliable base load power with state-of-the-art clean coal-fired technology.
The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) said it approved of Mr Turnbull’s commitment to develop an energy policy based on energy security and cost and also his promise to work with the states on sustainable onshore gas development.
APGA Chief Executive, Cheryl Cartwright, said, “I am very pleased to see that Mr Turnbull and his government acknowledge that increasing the supply of gas is essential to our nation’s future.
“We agree with the Prime Minister that state bans on gas exploration and production will inevitably lead to more expensive energy for users and reduce security of supply for everyone.”
Ms Cartwright said APGA looked forward to working with the government in the development of a comprehensive and technology-neutral national energy policy.
“This is clearly the most efficient and economical system to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions from power generation, while helping to ensure energy security,” Ms Cartwright said.