Paying coal and gas plants to supply back-up energy a ‘retrograde step’, Clean Energy Council says

‘It’s the wrong policy debate at the wrong time,’ industry says of capacity mechanism

Australia’s peak renewable industry groups say paying coal and gas plants to remain in the electricity market as back-up capacity would be “a retrograde step”, and a lengthy debate about changes could stall much-needed new investment.

Kane Thornton, the chief executive of the Clean Energy Council, said his organisation had “real concerns” about the proposal by the Energy Security Board for a so-called capacity mechanism to be introduced after 2025. Such a scheme would charge consumers for idle generation or supply to reduce risks of potential power shortages, as experienced across eastern Australia this month.

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