Labor outlines plans to shift the energy system to renewables

Labor is vowing to lower power prices for households with a plan to shift the energy system towards renewables.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen told 9News political editor Chris Uhlmann on Today that renewable energy is “the cheapest form of energy”.

“By taking our energy market to 82 per cent renewables by 2030, we will reduce emissions, increase jobs and reduce power bills,” Mr Bowen said.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen. (Today)

Mr Uhlmann noted the wholesale price of power is set by the highest cost of generation, which is currently driven by coal.

Mr Bowen acknowledged coal is the most expensive form of energy and outlined the party’s plan to replace this form of energy with renewables.

“Coal will be in the system, particularly in the evening for some time, but the more renewable energy we can get into the system, the cheaper it is for everyone,” he said.

9News political editor Chris Uhlmann.
9News political editor Chris Uhlmann. (9News)

Mr Bowen said there is a need to bring on new renewable energy, improve transmission and “massively increase” storage.

“The market operator, the regulators have said that,” he said.

“We need a big increase in storage so we can store the renewable energy during the day and use it in the evening.”

An investment of $20 billion is planned for an increase in transmission lines for wind.

“It be will a government investment but that will spur private sector investment,” Mr Bowen said.

“We need a massive upgrade in transmission to get energy, renewable energy from where it’s created in Australian regions to where it is consumed.

“Almost every day it will be windy or sunny somewhere, so we need the transmission lines to get the energy to where it’s being produced.”

However, coal and gas will need to remain in the system for some time, Mr Uhlmann said.

“It firms up wind and solar. That’s absolutely essential,” he said.

“It needs to stay in the system for quite some time.

“In order to get the wind to the marketplace, $20 billion more in terms of transmission, this all ends up getting added to the cost of the retail bill.

“Because it’s the entire cost of the system that will be the electricity bill that people will get.”

Mr Bowen said the government investment in transmission on commercial terms will be looked at by experts.

“It will be done by experts and looking at return to government and where the investment can best be made, (it) will reduce power prices by bringing renewable energy on,” he said.

“The cheapest form of energy is renewable energy.”

Watch the full interview in the video above

Reference-www.9news.com.au

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