There’s been a lot of talk about the National Energy Guarantee lately, with Labor threatening to scuttle this landmark power policy before it finally got the nod on Friday morning. It comes after the Australian Energy Market Operator warned of extra costs in excess of $300 million if Labor states vetoed the NEG. With sky-high power prices and the threat of blackouts as old power plants shut down, sensible action on energy is critical.

What is it?
The National Energy Guarantee was set up to combat increasing power prices and rolling blackouts in recent years.

The basic idea is to drive down power prices, improve reliability and reduce carbon emissions. This cheaper, more reliable and cleaner approach to power is in line with NSW Nationals values.

Sounds good. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that this is a sensible, responsible approach to the electricity market that will achieve its goals.

You read that right, our opponents in the Labor-Greens union are furious that the Nationals in Government have been able to come up with a realistic way to cut down on greenhouse gasses and meet clean energy targets, something they failed to do with their Carbon Tax.

Rather than help families by committing to a plan that will drive down power prices, the Labor-Greens union wants even higher emissions reduction targets, that most reports have found will drive power prices higher again.

Why can’t we have all-renewable power?
It’s quite simple: The sun only shines during the day, and we can’t guarantee it will always be windy. These peaks and troughs in power generation will lead to peaks and troughs in power supply and pricing.

Imagine running a business where the rent fluctuates wildly, and where you may have to close the doors at a moment’s notice; it’s just not realistic. Batteries and pumped-hydro can go some way to fixing this, but at the moment a home-sized Tesla Powerwall costs about $10,000 – not exactly in the price range of regular Australians.

The Snowy Hydro 2.0 project will go a long way to providing clean, reliable power using a pumped-hydro model, but it won’t be built overnight. That’s why we need to keep our coal-fired power plants operating until the renewable sector can take over.

But the scientists say coal is warming the planet!
Yes they do, and we’re not in the business of disputing the science. The NSW Nationals are in the business of ensuring a fair go for our communities across the State and one of the biggest problems facing everyone is the price of power.

The Labor-Greens union would have you believe that the rest of the world has already gone to all-renewable power and we’re the only ones left burning coal. But the truth is that Australia accounts for less than 2 per cent of global carbon emissions. The rest of the world is currently building or planning 1600 new coal fired power stations, according to The New York Times.

Is it fair that our families and businesses should suffer just so the environmentalists can sleep soundly at night?

The final word.
We’ve said all along that we want cheaper, more reliable and cleaner power, and that’s exactly what the NEG will achieve. It’s common-sense, it’s backed by science and industry, and is the most realistic way for Australia to tackle high power prices while lowering carbon emissions. More importantly, it will help our families and communities make ends meet, leading to a fairer Australia for all.

That’s something we can all get behind.