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Old power stations under fire in ALPs climate change plan


Source: The Australian, 11 April 2016

Labor is moving towards announcing an inquiry into Australia’s electricity industry — which could be charged with developing a plan to shut down ageing coal-fired power stations — under an opposition election policy that seeks to avoid a carbon tax scare campaign.

The climate change policy is also expected to outline a “staged’’ reintroduction of an emissions trading scheme, but will shy away from specific details on how it will reach its goal of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

With Bill Shorten also vulnerable to charges that the policy will drive up electricity prices, Labor is being urged by experts to keep some of the Coalition’s Direct Action policies, rather than move immediately to an ETS, and adapt them over time to maintain policy certainty for industry and encourage investment.

The policy is close to being finalised after two months of intensive consultations and more than 50 stakeholder meetings. Apart from looking at how to retire some of Australia’s highest emissions coal-fired power stations, an electricity industry inquiry would be also tasked with mapping how Labor will achieve its ambition of 50 per cent of power generation coming from renewable energy by 2030.