Origin’s Grant King deals a blow to Australian Renewable Energy Target
This week, Grant King delivered a presentation hosted by CEDA where he again took aim at the Renewable Energy Target, and also criticised the carbon price as having had little influence over carbon emissions.
What would probably raise quite a few eyebrows is the chart below outlining his company’s projection of new build wind capacity. According to reports in Fairfax newspapers, King outlined that the RET will require an “enormous rise” in wind farm capacity construction of 2200MW per annum to become operational over 2017 to 2020.
What will probably cause consternation amongst wind project developers is the absence of projects coming online in 2015 and 2016, which serves to increase the amount of wind required in 2017 to 2020. According to developers, they’d have a much better chance of bringing projects online during this period if only Origin would make more of an effort to sign-up to power purchase agreements today.
In a gift for the Coalition, the presentation also suggests that the carbon price has made little difference to emissions in the electricity sector. It notes that of the 6.9Mt reduction in emissions in the six months after the introduction of the carbon price relative the prior six months, 37 per cent was due to reductions in electricity demand, 34 per cent due to rain providing full hydro storages and 7 per cent down to the flooding of the Yallourn coal mine.
The suggestion from King appears to be that Australia would be far better served to allow for free use of international permits by emitters that would deliver emission reductions at lower cost than the fixed carbon price of $23 per tonne of CO2 that currently applies.