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Origin vents doubts over state scheme

VICTORIA'S plan to introduce its own renewable energy support scheme has been challenged by low-emissions generation group Origin Energy.

Editor's Note: The link below will take you to the complete Origin Energy report.

In a stakeholder submission the Government requested on the issue, Origin said a state-based scheme would be "inconsistent with … a comprehensive policy framework" and failed to deliver on stated policy objectives.

Origin's criticism of the proposal, which aims to double Victoria's reliance on renewable generation to 10 per cent by 2010, is in two areas.

First, Origin claims the narrow geographic base of a state-based scheme will give too much support to wind power. A national scheme would encourage more diverse technologies such as biomass and solar, which are more suited to the northern states, and would ensure the most efficient solutions were developed.

Overreliance on wind would boost energy costs by up to $5 a megawatt-hour and would also "expose Victoria to a shortfall in secure generation capacity by introducing a less reliable supply", Origin claimed.

Origin's second concern is that a state-based scheme based on the federal Mandated Renewable Energy Target arrangements will be less efficient in reducing greenhouse emissions than would a national emissions trading system that could be managed by either the states or the Commonwealth.

However, Origin's concerns are at least in part tailored to meet its commercial... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

In a stakeholder submission the Government requested on the issue, Origin said a state-based scheme would be "inconsistent with … a comprehensive policy framework" and failed to deliver on stated policy objectives.
 
Origin's criticism of the proposal, which aims to double Victoria's reliance on renewable generation to 10 per cent by 2010, is in two areas.
 
First, Origin claims the narrow geographic base of a state-based scheme will give too much support to wind power. A national scheme would encourage more diverse technologies such as biomass and solar, which are more suited to the northern states, and would ensure the most efficient solutions were developed.
 
Overreliance on wind would boost energy costs by up to $5 a megawatt-hour and would also "expose Victoria to a shortfall in secure generation capacity by introducing a less reliable supply", Origin claimed.
 
Origin's second concern is that a state-based scheme based on the federal Mandated Renewable Energy Target arrangements will be less efficient in reducing greenhouse emissions than would a national emissions trading system that could be managed by either the states or the Commonwealth.
 
However, Origin's concerns are at least in part tailored to meet its commercial interests. The company is developing gas-fired generation, which, while a lot lower in emissions than coal, does not fall under the banner of renewable energy and will not, therefore, get subsidies under a state-based renewables scheme.
 
Ric Brazzale, director of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, said a national emissions trading scheme and an extension of the federal MRET scheme would make more sense than developing a state-based scheme in Victoria. However, that was not the reality and the Victorian Government had been left with little option.
 
"The worst thing is to take no action," Mr Brazzale said. "We can't wait and let greenhouse emissions just grow and grow. We're in the realm of second-best alternatives here."
 
Victorian Energy Minister Theo Theophanous said he also would rather see a national scheme in place. "The Bracks Government supports a national emissions trading scheme to cut greenhouse gases and give investors certainty about any greenhouse risk when planning their investments."
 
Victoria does not share Origin's concerns that a rise in wind power would make the state's power network less secure.
 
"The Bracks Government took two policies on renewable energy to the 2002 state election: a target for 1000MW of wind energy capacity by 2006; and a promise to lift consumption of renewable energy from 4 per cent in 2002 to 10 in 2010," he said.
 
The reporter owns Origin shares.
 
KEY POINTS
■Origin Energy says state-based energy support scheme would favour wind power.
 
■The Victorian Government says it would prefer that a national scheme were in place.


Source: http://www.windwatch.org/do...

MAR 2 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1500-origin-vents-doubts-over-state-scheme
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