Planning needed today for Queensland's electricity future

Friday 25 January, 2013 | Tags: Energy Environment and Sustainability;

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has today released its submission in response to the State Government’s Directions Paper – 30 Year Electricity Strategy.

CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy, Nick Behrens said, “Energy plays a crucially important role in building and sustaining the Queensland economy.”

“CCIQ believes that the Queensland electricity supply industry must be supportive of continued business and economic growth in Queensland.

“Encouraging a more sustainable and competitive energy sector and electricity market in Queensland, will provide a platform for businesses to operate in a more competitive and sustainable environment for the next 30 years.”

CCIQ believe it is essential that careful consideration be given to Queensland’s future energy arrangements.

There are a number of issues that must be resolved in developing a 30 year strategy for Queensland’s electricity supply industry.

These include:

  • What is more important price competitiveness and sustainability or network reliability?
  • What can be done to promote further competition in SEQ and facilitate competition in regional Queensland?
  • What can be done to improve the performance and efficiency of an underperforming Queensland Electricity Supply Industry?
  • What can be done to diversify the generation mix of energy and also the location of energy? Is nuclear energy a realistic option for Queensland?
  • Do we keep the carbon pricing mechanism and scrap other energy demand initiatives or vice versa?
  • Do we privatise our State’s electricity assets?

The above issues should be at the core of any 30 Year Vision.

CCIQ firmly believes that ongoing price increases experienced in the past five years are unsustainable.

Queensland businesses cannot continue to absorb these additional costs.

Therefore efficient planning and management of the energy sector and emerging issues are of critical importance if Queensland electricity prices are going to be sustainable and competitive over the next 30 years.

The Queensland business community firmly believes that the previous State Government and the Queensland electricity supply industry has failed to adequately plan for and manage the growing state’s energy needs.

Indeed much of the recent explosion in electricity prices is a result of playing catch up for underinvestment in previous years.

For this reason CCIQ is very supportive of the State Government’s ‘30 Year Electricity Strategy’.

CCIQ ultimately believes that providing Queensland’s electricity prices are competitive and the above questions are answered correctly, it will be commercial and industrial businesses and the economy in general that will influence Queensland’s energy future.

The State Government must today put into practice several actions including focusing on price competitiveness, ensuring a reliable network, removing regulatory barriers, and facilitating private sector involvement in bringing on line additional generation capacity within Queensland particularly north Queensland.

The full submission can be found here


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