Business welcomes Labor RET clarification

The Western Australian business community has welcomed WA Labor’s commitment to consult with industry regarding integration of renewable energy into the electricity system, says the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI).

CCI Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott said whichever party forms the next State Government should focus on critical state electricity market reforms and not pursue an ambitious state renewable energy target that moves beyond a national approach, and must engage with industry in all discussions of WA’s energy future.

“The WA business community has welcomed clarification that WA Labor will not pursue a state-based renewable energy target,” Ms Willmott said.

“Energy security is a priority for Western Australia and business believes responsible action on climate change should be approached at the national level. Individual state targets for renewable energy can unnecessarily drive up costs without improving environmental outcomes – any future State Government needs to be very careful about the pursuit of individual renewable energy targets that are contrary to a single responsible national target.

“An independent review is currently underway that will consider options to improve the security of the national electricity market and while WA is not connected to this system, there will be some lessons from the review that will apply to our state going forward, so it would be wise to wait for the review’s conclusions.

“As an islanded grid, WA must be conscious of the security challenges posed by increasing intermittent generation and how the closure of reliable baseload power would impact energy security, as well as how the development of new technology such as battery storage could smooth this transition.

“Whichever party next forms the next WA government should focus on state electricity market reforms, including transitioning to a constrained network access model, tariff reform to reflect the true price of electricity, and introducing competition into the market through facility bidding and full retail contestability.

“These reforms will allow WA to maintain our state’s competitive advantage and not fall into a trap of poor energy policy that would disadvantage the rest of the economy, as we’ve seen in South Australia – WA’s energy supply must be equipped to sustain growing economic sectors like defence into the future, so CCI calls on both parties to commit to prioritising secure power for the Henderson ship building precinct should their party win government next month.”

Media contact: Kate Hodges – 0448 928 227    

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