Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Energy spokesperson
At today’s Government Business scrutiny committee, Minister for Energy, Matthew Groom, showed no sign he has any clear plan to lift Tasmania beyond current inadequate levels of renewable energy generation.
It would be a threat to Tasmania's future energy security if we rush headlong into a second Basslink interconnector without first making sure we are self-sufficient.
Hydro CEO, Steve Davy, confirmed Tasmania has a shortfall in renewable energy generation capacity of at least 700 GW hours. Unless we become 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy generation, we can't become energy secure.
In his Feasibility Study for a second Basslink, former Liberal Minister, Warwick Smith, was clear it wouldn't be worth making the $1 billion investment required for another interconnector unless there is at least 1000MW of new renewable energy capacity in Tasmania.
Unless the Liberals generate a positive policy signal to the market, there's nothing driving renewable investment confidence in Tasmania. Minister Groom said he's "optimistic" about more renewables in Tasmania, but it's hard to imagine how a potential mainland or international investor would be able to read his mind.
If he's serious about renewable investment and energy security, Minister Groom must set generation and energy efficiency targets. A responsible government would be setting ambitious targets for on-island renewable generation that will make Tasmania 100% renewable, 100% of the time.