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Andrew Broad speaks energy policy

The nation’s chief energy market operator has warned Australia does not have the energy reserves it once had to fall back on in times of peak demand.

NSW was on the precipice of blackouts last week, after the state lost nearly a third of its 12,000MW coal generating capacity. The outages came as thick cloud cover reduced solar generation by up to 254MW a day, prompting the operator’s call to “ensure adequate resources are available” to manage increased demand.

“This all shows how precarious and vulnerable the system is when you rely more and more on weather dependent renewables,” says Luke Grant.

“It might be clean and green, but this doesn’t help when you’ve got a plug and a power point and no output.”

Chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Energy, Andrew Broad, sang a slightly different tune.

“I still believe both coal and renewable technology can work if you put your wind turbines in the windiest spot and your solar panels in the sunniest spots,” he says.

“You link them with pumped hydro and the system can work.”

Though supporting renewables, Broad did say there is a danger in anti-coal rhetoric.

“What we can’t get to is a place where we demonise coal, because we will need to build some new coal to replace Yallourn in 2027 and Liddell,” he says.

Click PLAY below for the full interview

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