There were a number of senior industry specialists participating in the Symposium and this is what some of them had to say.
Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist (pictured)
“As part of the electricity sector review, we consulted globally and nationally. I went with the taskforce panel to a number of countries in Europe and a number of jurisdictions in America… All the countries shared one thing that we didn’t have, and that’s a strategy. A strategy for the transition to the future. None of them had the same strategy but they all had a strategy.”
“The intersection set between the electricity policy and the emissions policy is the strategy that we are looking for in order to have an effective transition into the future. “
“The state, territory and commonwealth governments must agree to a long-term emissions reduction. A trajectory is needed to send the right signals to the investors who are looking for 20- to 25-year investments.”
Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at the UK Government
“Different mechanisms were put in place to try to encourage an uptake of new technologies, particularly renewables.”
“These included contracts for difference to support investment in new and low-carbon electricity generation. People with generating capacity bid under a series of auctions to guarantee a specific level of power on demand over a given year with whatever technology they happen to be using for a fixed price expressed in £/MW...The idea of this is to give certainty for future investments… Under the earlier system generator income was subject to the uncertainties of the market which was problematic in getting investment, particularly for newer technologies.”
Mr Charles Davis, Executive Director of Project Finance, Energy and Utilities, Commonwealth Bank
“Since a bipartisan deal on the Renewable Energy Target was reached in mid-2015 there has been a steady pipeline of investment from banks and the private sector in the domestic market. This follows a period of low investment while the review of the RET was taking place and emphasised the implications of uncertainty as far as the investor community is concerned.”
“Feedback from the business community on the National Energy Guarantee has been cautiously optimistic with all waiting to see more granular detail of the scheme and modelling. While we have the framework of the NEG, if the detail and subsequent implementation isn’t agreed on soon this will likely cause a hiatus in projects and investment given the long lead times to bring these long life, large capital spend projects to market."