Liberals’ energy plan for Victoria: a backwards step
by Max MacBride
12 November 2018
Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy’s proposal to prop up dying industries that business won’t is a symptom of the fossil fuel fetishisation and climate change denial that plagues the Coalition at state and federal level.
This morning the Coalition announced it will tender for 500MW of electricity generation to power infrastructure if elected, such as the state’s electricity network and hospitals.
Make no mistake – this is a backwards step that reveals an ignorance of climate science and the economics of power generation, as well as a disregard for the wishes of Victorian voters.
Right now we should be investing in an electricity network founded on renewables, backed up by battery storage. By gambling on polluting fossil fuels like gas or coal, this plan is risking the state’s finances as well as the health of Victorians and the environment.
Polling Greenpeace commissioned during the heated debate over the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) found that 77 percent of Victorians want Australia to embrace a high renewable energy target to help put downward pressure on power prices.
The poll also found that more than 76 percent of Victorians believe the best way for the government to ensure low cost reliable electricity supply is to invest in renewables, along with dispatchable storage solutions like batteries, and that 74.5 percent of Victorians want renewables to receive more government support than fossil fuels such as coal.
While the Coalition looks to the past to solve the energy challenges of the future, the Greens and Labor have unveiled ambitious policies to reduce the pollution that causes climate change and drive down power prices by introducing more renewable energy into the system.
Labor’s VRET aims to power Victoria with 40 percent renewable energy by 2025, while the Greens have put forward a 100 percent renewable energy target for 2030.
With the election on a knife-edge, Victorians are faced with a clear choice when they go to the polls next week: vote for more jobs, lower power prices and less pollution. Or vote to slam the brakes on that progress, putting jobs, the environment and people’s health at risk by going back to the past with coal.