O’Reilly Review Makes It Clear Australia Needs Minns To Keep The Lights On

Written by:
22 August 2023
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“Reports the O’Reilly Review will recommend the Eraring Power Station operate past its artificial 2025 closure date is a rational first step in shoring up the nation’s energy security and gives Premier Chris Minns the opportunity to act in the national interest to keep the lights on,” said Scott Hargreaves, Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

As reported today in the Sydney Morning Herald, the O’Reilly Review echoes IPA research from May that called on the New South Wales Government to do all it can to ensure the Eraring Power Station remains open beyond 2025, with the Australian Energy Market Operator forecasting reliability gaps across mainland Australia.

“The current state of Australia’s energy grid is in no way the fault of Premier Minns, however he can now clean up the mess caused by the economic vandalism of the former state Minister for Energy Matt Kean who let Liddell close and capitulated to the early closure of Eraring,” said Mr Hargreaves.

“If the Eraring Power Station closes as planned in 2025 it would be catastrophic for consumers and destabilise our entire electricity grid.”

The Australian Energy Regulator has found with the closure of the Liddell Power Station earlier this year surplus capacity in the system was eliminated, with wholesale prices spiking by 38% and grid reliability reduced.

“Liddell was the line in the sand moment for the nation’s energy grid as any further closures of stations like Eraring or Bayswater would mean energy security would be terminally comprised, with households and businesses paying the cost in higher prices and reduced reliability,” said Mr Hargreaves.

“In Australia today, no baseload power station should be allowed to close unless and until a like for like baseload replacement – be it coal-fired or nuclear – is ready to come online.”

The O’Reilly Review and keeping Eraring open should also be a warning to the Federal Government that its plan for to carpet the nation with solar panels, wind farms and transmission lines to replace base-local energy with variable renewable sources is failing.

“The net zero chickens are coming home to roost. It is clear the operating lives of our affordable and reliable baseload power stations need to be extended and shows once again how unrealistic the net zero agenda of the political class and inner-city elites is,” said Mr Hargreaves.

“Considering the Western Australian Government’s recent decision to extend the life of a coal-fired station, and the Victorian Government’s reported commitment to ensuring Loy Yang A remains open at least to the mooted 2035 closure date, Eraring must continue to operate.”

“The fate of the National Energy Market now rests solely in the hands of Premier Minns, we need him to be the adult in the room and keep Eraring open. He deserves bipartisan support to achieve this,” Mr Hargreaves said.

To download the IPA’s research Liddell: The Line in The Sand click here.

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