Australia Announces Move Away From Renewable Energy
The Australian Government on Tuesday abandoned an energy plan that favoured a shift to renewable sources such as wind and solar power.
The government, instead, opts for a plan mandating minimum amounts of coal, gas and hydroelectricity generation.
The country’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said the new energy policy, known as the National Energy Guarantee, would make electricity cheaper and more reliable, while still meeting the country’s Paris climate change agreement obligations.
“What we have today is a game-changer,” Turnbull said.
“This is a national energy guarantee that will ensure that we have affordable power; that it is reliable to keep the lights on.
“And we can afford to keep them on and meet our international commitments,” he said.
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The scrapped Clean Energy Target, devised by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, recommended that electricity supply companies be forced to provide a set amount of power from renewable, low-emission sources.
Under the new policy, energy providers will be required to have adequate supplies of fossil fuel energy and hydro-power, while at the same time reducing emissions.
The government says that under the plan, household electricity bills will fall by an average of 110 Australian dollars (86.34 dollars) a year over a 10-year period from 2020.
The country’s Labour opposition, which had offered bipartisan support for the Clean Energy Target, slammed the new policy, saying it will destroy the country’s renewable energy industry.
The Climate Council also described the abandonment of the Clean Energy Target as “a grave mistake”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the group warned “any policy that doubles down on old polluting power at the expense of clean energy is a barrier to progress.”