I did not get my full post on the NEG (National Energy Guarantee) finished last night, so it will have to await the COAG meeting today.
Commentators seem to think the NEG will get an amber light from the states. The main problem is that in terms of emissions reduction the NEG has been evaluated as worse than doing nothing by Reputex. To the world it will look like it is – Australia keeping up appearances while putting the mockers on renewable energy and giving coal the best chance ever to keep wrecking the planet.
Reputex found that the ESB’s claims that the NEG would lift investment in renewables to 36 per cent of total production from 31 per cent under business as usual to be wrong. I understand Frontier Economics does the modelling for the Energy Security Board. Reputex compares their own modelling with that of the ESB. This graph shows the energy mix:
The difference between the second and the third bar graph is what the ESB claims the NEG will achieve. That is pathetic enough, but the fourth bar graph is what Reputex calculates would happen if the NEG didn’t happen.
Existing policy, such as it is, is clearly better than the NEG. However 60% fossil fuels at 2030 is simply unacceptable.
The Commonwealth is suggesting that state renewable energy targets should be folded into the national target. On that basis if, say, Qld aims for 50% by 2030 it means that other states can slack off the 26% target by the amount that Qld exceeds it.
I gather it is legislated first in SA, as agreed by COAG, then replicated in every state. The Commonwealth is only in the act now because it has signed up to the international Paris agreement.
Qld, Victoria and the ACT are not going legislate to say they are signed up to a 26% target, as this would make their reverse auctions for renewable energy look rather pointless.
Nor, I think, does any state want to be the one who spoils the party.
So they will stay on board and kick the can down the road, hoping that Frydenberg and Turnbull will vacate the treasury benches before they do.
Here’s the proposed NEG plan that isn’t a plan in the context of the total emissions problem, sourced from the Department of Environment and Energy via the AFR:
It shows the Turnbull government being ineffective across the board. The only policy to make a substantial diffence is tree-clearing legislation in Queensland.
Here is the table:
I can’t see any sense in it, because a 26% reduction on the cherry-picked high starting point of 2005 should give 441.7 MT of CO2e.
- “Even if the Energy Security Board gives Malcolm Turnbull a Rolls Royce model of energy policy, it’s not going to be of much use to the country if he immediately seeks to put it in the garage and lock it up for 10 years, which is what he is trying to do.”
Update: See also Ben Potter – Explained: how the National Energy Guarantee works