Climate change induced energy demand spike show failure in policy

MEDIA RELEASE – 10 February 2017

NSW Greens energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said today’s predicted energy demand spikes highlighted multiple policy failures including a failure to address climate change, a failure to put in place a sensible demand management strategy, and a failure to build renewable energy.

“This record heatwave, in conjunction with temperature records being broken on a regular basis, shows that climate change is here with a vengeance.  Australians will die during this heatwave, yet the federal government still has its head in the sand,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“For our governments to still be pushing coal, the number one cause of climate change, in the face of an unprecedented heatwave is absolutely negligent.

“New Energy Minister Don Harwin’s advice for people to “have their fridge at a slightly lower temperature” (although I think he meant to say a higher temperature) demonstrates just how hapless and lost the NSW government has been on energy policy.

“NSW should have in place a demand management policy where large energy users are paid to reduce demand on the grid during peak periods.  This is a more effective and efficient policy measure than building huge infrastructure that is only used for a few hours every few years, or a hapless minister begging people to adjust their refrigerators.

“A smarter grid that allows for more distributed electricity generation, from clean energy sources, peer-to-peer trading, and decent price incentives for small-scale generation, would help to alleviate the pressure on the centralised grid.

“Unfortunately, the government’s preoccupation with defending the coal industry and flogging off the coal-fired power stations and electricity grid, means that effective policies to modernise the grid and avoid situations like the one NSW is facing today have not been pursued with any vigour.”

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