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MCA Chief: National Energy Guarantee must reduce power costs and improve reliability

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Global Mining Review,

The interim chief of the Minerals Council of Australia, David Byers, has urged the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), the Australian government’s energy policy, to adopt a number of new measures, including funding for low-emissions energy outlets.

The statement by Byers includes a plea for the NEG to provide a “technology-neutral approach” for low emissions energy sources (such as nuclear, coal, and renewables) that will lower domestic and industrial energy costs, maintain system reliability and continue reducing emissions.

Failure to reduce power costs would, according to the statement, “force mining companies to look elsewhere to invest and create jobs, and hurt families already struggling to pay their bills.”

In addition, Byers outlined further measures required, including:

  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation funding to address financing gaps should be made available to all low emissions energy sources.
  • Measures to address the policy risk stopping investment in new, least cost 24/7 dispatchable energy supplies to ensure Australia has the generation it needs under a coordinated climate and energy policy, specifically:
    - Providing access to international and domestic offsets.
    - Ensuring the Australian Energy Market Operator's forecasts are accurate and reliable, including regular updates of how accurate its forecasts are against actual outcomes.
    - Resolving how the Reliability and Emissions Guarantee contracts will work in practice – including whether they will lead to a greater concentration of market power within the energy sector, putting at risk the expected outcomes of the Guarantee.
    - The need for policy transparency in developing the proposed Complementary Measures – including more detail on measures such as demand response, strategic reserve, and day-ahead markets which will affect reliability, price and possibly emissions requirements.
    - A full public consultation process should be undertaken by the ESB prior to enacting any of these Complementary Measures, given the need for open and transparent testing of proposals to change the way in which the NEM operates.
The statement can be read in full here.

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Australian mining news Minerals Council of Australia news