Victorian government urged to reveal ‘darling’ coal power deal
Insiders believe the deal will likely include some form of “risk mitigation,” such as a price guarantee for the generator, some form of contribution to ongoing maintenance costs, or an agreement on rights and use of water.
Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio told parliament at the time that the deal was about maintaining an adequate power supply and supporting workers, but declined to divulge details, saying that the agreement was “commercial confidential”.
But the state opposition plans to step up the pressure on the secret deal as Ms D’Ambrosio argues that coal and gas should be excluded from any capacity mechanism – the plan proposed by government ministers. to pay baseload energy providers to maintain additional capacity to periodically fill supply shortages.
“The community and the taxpayers deserve to know,” said Victorian shadow treasurer David Davis. Financial analysis. “We all know this energy transition needs to happen, but people want to know that the lights will stay on and where taxpayers’ money is being spent.”
Energy bosses and regulators warned last week that market reforms would have to embrace natural gas and potentially coal to ‘firm up’ weather-dependent renewables and stave off blackouts, but Ms D ‘Ambrosio ruled out that possibility in Victoria.
“We have always been clear that a capacity market operating in Victoria would make payments to zero-emissions technologies and not fossil fuels,” she said last week.
The crisis comes as the Victorian government has reportedly quietly suspended a plan to wean consumers off gas until after the national election in November, as switching households from gas to electricity is expensive and could prove politically unpopular at a time when energy bills are skyrocketing.
Alinta Energy chief executive Jeff Dimery said last week that the Victorian government was only to blame for the crisis after banning gas exploration and production for nearly a decade.