The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is flawed. But not primarily for the reasons that most of its critics have argued, such as its relatively lowball emissions reductions targets for the electricity sector, or the fact it doesn’t represent all the sectors that produce emissions in Australia. Described as a balancing act between reducing emissions — a requirement of Australia’s commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement — and maintaining energy grid reliability, the NEG envisions solar, wind, coal, gas, batteries and pumped hydro will all be a part of the energy mix, with renewable sources key to reducing our carbon emissions and meeting international obligations. The flaw as it currently exists is that it relies on coal fired power providing a significant source of energy. Under the NEG’s reliability requirement, power retailers would be required to use dispatchable, baseload sources — those which can back up intermittent renewable sources. It fails to recognise that the problem of what can replace coal has been solved.
Transforming our global energy future requires a sense of purpose, passion and plenty of perseverance. If you want to help realise a smarter and more sustainable tomorrow, we would like to hear from you.