Angus Taylor has released an opinion piece on the Battery of the Nation vision and the challenges ahead.
“On 25 January, as the lights went out in 200,000 Victorian homes and the Portland aluminium smelter was taken offline, it was little comfort that there was an additional 400MW of generation capacity in Tasmania unable to reach the mainland and keep the lights on,” Mr Taylor said.
“Unfortunately it is not the first time Labor/Green state governments have failed to guarantee reliable supply for households and businesses, and it is unlikely to be the last. While these governments continue their ideological pursuit of reckless energy and emissions targets, the Morrison Government has been implementing a practical solution.”
The statement said that Battery of the Nation is a vision that will harness Tasmania’s natural advantages to tackle the problems in our electricity market.
“Battery of the Nation will provide up to 2500MW of fast-start, dispatchable generation capacity. This is real power. It will also provide large-scale storage to firm up renewable generation, driving investment to take advantage of Tasmania’s vast and largely untapped wind potential,” My Taylor said.
“Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link go hand in hand. Marinus Link will add an additional 1200MW of capacity across Bass Strait, as well as the existing 400MW of constrained generation to the mainland.
“Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link would also complement other large-scale energy storage projects like Snowy 2.0. Storage technology we see in Snowy 2.0 and Battery of the Nation will play an integral role in providing back-up power for intermittent renewables.”
Mr Taylor said it is welcome news that the Tasmanian Hodgman Government is full steam ahead with its energy vision, announcing earlier this week the three potential sites Hydro Tasmania will investigate: Lake Cethana and Lake Rowallan, south-west of Sheffield, and the Tribute Power Station, south of Tullah.
“We face a real opportunity and challenge in our electricity markets with unprecedented investment in renewable energy generation across Australia. Latest figures from the Clean Energy Regulator show over $25 billion of committed investment in new wind and solar over the years 2018-20,” Mr Taylor said.
“The Australian Energy Market Operator estimates that around 16 gigawatts of existing thermal generation is scheduled to retire by 2040, equivalent to about one third of the energy currently used in the market. This will be replaced with 54 gigawatts of new, mostly intermittent, generation entering the National Electricity Market.
“That means we’ve got to have backup storage and better interconnection to deal with the variable nature of wind and solar.
“Keeping the lights on and keeping prices down is not an option – it’s a necessity in increasingly difficult circumstances. The Morrison Government has taken the ideology out of the debate to prioritise security and affordability. Unfortunately, you simply can’t trust Bill Shorten and his Labor mates to do the same – even through the future of our country’s economy depends on it.”