Federal Energy Secretary Chris Bowen has called an emergency meeting with state energy ministers this afternoon to deal with the spike in electricity and gas prices, but he says there is no one-size-fits-all solution. to what he believed was a decade of inactivity by the former coalition government.
“There are no easy fixes here,” Bowen told ABC Radio this morning. “We have been very clear about that. One meeting will not solve all the problems of nine years of lack of energy policy.
“We have some meaty issues to discuss, some issues around regulator powers, some issues around information, and some issues I’ll bring up about better planning and better integration of the massive investments we need to make this happen. prevent the problem in the future. †
“Over the past few years, we’ve had a 70 percent reduction in renewable energy investments. We are way below par in transmission, as AEMO, our energy market operator, has said: we need 10,000 kilometers of new transmission lines and we need nine times as much renewable energy to make the system more stable.”
As reported in this masthead today, the Australian Workers Union has set the stage for a clash with the government by advocating for a windfall tax, similar to the one in the UK, to be levied on gas exporters, who are making record profits in the surging global market. .
But treasurer Jim Chalmers has ruled out a windfall tax, and Bowen supported this view.
“I’ve made the point that the situation in the UK is a little bit different than the situation we’re facing, and you can’t just translate one answer into one country – as good as it is for, say, the UK Kingdom – to the situation we face in Australia, which is a little different.”