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Groom Should Be Honest About Energy Crisis

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 22 February 2016

Tags: Basslink, Renewable Energy

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Energy spokesperson

The cost to the Tasmanian community for burning 200MW of dirty diesel will be enormous, in terms of generation costs that can't be recovered as well as the massive greenhouse gas emissions.

Minister Groom needs to be honest with Tasmanians about what this will cost us and where it will come from.

The Minister’s proposal to solve the problems of our energy crisis by spending $44 million to create 200MW of dirty fuel power, in addition to the 280MW already being burnt from the Tamar Valley Power Station, raises more questions than it answers.

Minister Groom has no plan past 200MW of polluting diesel generation. The amount of power we’ll be able to make with the system he’s patched together is not enough to compensate for what we would be bringing across Basslink. It relies on us using our Hydro storage as well.

Basslink has been broken for nine weeks, and Tasmanians still don't know where the fault is, when it will be fixed, and if it can be.

Our dam levels are dropping fast, with Hydro’s latest estimate of 13.6% by May 1. If Basslink can’t be fixed, this is dangerously close to the bottom.

Hydro Tasmania says it's confident it can meet Tasmania’s energy needs with the additional 200MW  of dirty fuel generators, but only if there is also “voluntary load reductions” from customers.

Our major industries have already bailed the government out and helped by cutting power use once. They had to lay off staff and put their export contracts at risk.

How much more power will our big industries have to cut, for how long, and what will the impacts for Tasmania be? We need a Minister who is honest with the community.

This is yet another reminder of the need for more renewable energy to be generated on our island. The government needs to take a leaf out of the Greens Energy Strategy which offers the long term solutions our state needs.