To ensure affordable, reliable power, we need the market to deliver 1,000 megawatts of new dispatchable capacity of 2023-24, with final investment decisions by the end of April 2021.
Now, that’s less than eight months, and we’re counting each day.
So, this is the plan – if the energy companies choose to step up and make these investments to create that capacity – great! We will step back. If not, my government will step up and we will fill the gap. And to this end, Snowy Hydro is already developing options to build a gas generator in the Hunter Valley should the market not deliver.
Now, the commonwealth government would prefer not to step in. That is not our plan A.
But nor will we shy away from taking action to protect consumers and support jobs, including here in this region, and so many like it.
So I think there’s some certainty there about what the investment environment looks like and what the capacity need is.
And I’m sure we’ll get there, one way or the other.
Alongside critical firming capacity, we need better integration of renewables in the electricity grid. This makes renewables work.
Renewables are getting cheaper. That’s great news. Because we’re about affordable power, taking pressure off households.
Taking pressure off job-creating businesses. Grid cost solar costs fell 15% between 2015 and 2020, and are projected to fall further.
Falling technology costs will help put downward pressure on prices and emissions over the decades to come.
They have also brought grid-scale wind and solar generation to economic parity with traditional sources of generation.
Renewables like solar and wind don’t need subsidies. What they need is integration.
And without adequate planning and integration, rapid deployment of renewables can lead to delayed connection, curtailed output and congested transmission.
Our energy plan understands this, and includes measures to strengthen our transmission network to better move power to where it’s needed.
Having a renewable future isn’t just about winding a windmill – you’ve got to connect it up, and you’ve got to ensure it’s backed in by the reliable power that firms it when the wind isn’t blowing.
That’s not ideology, that’s just common-sense.
So today I announce that the commonwealth will work with state governments to accelerate three critical projects, and we’ll have more to say about this later.