Nearly 50% of Australians would disapprove of the closure of coal-fired power plants if electricity prices were to increase by between 4 and 10 per cent the following year, according to a new survey conducted by Galaxy Research for free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
“This survey is a wake-up call to policy makers who think they can continue to fool the public by pushing more and more renewables into the energy market,” said Brett Hogan, Director of Research.
“As the coal-fired power stations that deliver cheap and reliable 24/7 electricity close, the higher prices and more regular supply interruptions, will see public support for renewables evaporate.”
The survey findings were broadly consistent across the States in the National Electricity Market.
“While South Australia’s coal closures, 40% renewables footprint and increasing dependence upon its interconnector with Victoria to guarantee reliable electricity are well documented, it is Victoria that now has much more to lose.”
“In just the last 6 months the Andrews Government has tripled the tax on brown coal, announced a new 40% renewable energy target, and extended the current ban on exploration for new gas supplies.”
“Victoria is the low price anchor of the National Electricity Market, with its surplus electricity currently patching the holes in renewables-rich South Australia and Tasmania. The closure of Hazelwood, which removes 20% of Victoria’s capacity in one hit, means that these three states will now be competing for the same, reduced power output.”
“It also means that from next summer, Victoria will be a net importer of electricity during periods of peak demand with blackout prevention depending on other States. This is madness.”
“No new coal, no new gas, no new dams and no nuclear equals less electricity and less jobs. For politicians all over the country, it will also mean less votes,” said Mr Hogan.
For media and comment: Brett Hogan, Director of Research, Institute of Public Affairs, on 0407 273 884, or at [email protected]
Or contact Evan Mulholland, IPA Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]