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Tenuous Business Case for Second Basslink

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 12 December 2016

Tags: Renewable Energy, Basslink

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Energy spokesperson

The Australian Energy Markets Operator concluded that without significant investment in new renewables in Tasmania, the case for a second Basslink interconnector would only be marginally economic.  It's unclear whether it will break even in 20 years time, or not.

The report modelled a number of scenarios ahead to 2035 that showed a net economic loss from a second interconnector. Only one scenario projected a marginal benefit of $20 million on the $940 million investment required.

The case for a second Tasmanian interconnector was the least beneficial of all the interconnectors proposed nationwide.

The only way a second Basslink makes sense is when we have enough surplus electricity generation to export across it without running our dams dry. Tasmania should to be 100% renewable, 100% of the time before that is considered.

Last week's Finkel Review also highlighted Tasmania’s need to build new renewables first, before becoming over-reliant on other states to boost our energy supply. By prioritising a second interconnector, the Government is assuming an on-island renewable energy failure.

A second cable would not be operational for over a decade. With zero targets and no credible plan to build more renewables, the Liberals are leaving Tasmanian homes and businesses vulnerable to another Basslink outage. 

The Hodgman Government should take real action, like building more wind and solar to keep our energy supply 100% clean and secure and stop using a second cable as a distraction from the real issue.