Further warnings from business were sounded this week about Australia's rush to renewable energy.
Peter Day, Chairman of Alumina, highlights the potential risks associated with removing fossil fuels from the energy mix without adequate consideration for the needs of the manufacturing industry.
Family First Party Australia stands in support of Peter Day's views and believes that a balanced approach is necessary to safeguard the manufacturing sector while transitioning to a more sustainable energy future, which based on current technologies must involve nuclear energy.
Alumina, a major player in the manufacturing industry, relies on access to cost-competitive natural gas for its operations.
Gas-fired electricity plants provide a reliable and quickly deployable source of backup power, essential for industries with complex manufacturing activities.
However, current transition plans fail to address the issue of back-up capacity adequately, as battery technologies do not yet offer viable long-duration solutions and it is not known if they ever will on the scale needed to power industry and cities.
A key concern raised by Peter Day is the immense uncertainty surrounding the availability and cost of future energy supply.
The transition to renewable energy sources begun under the Liberals and accelerated under Labor must prioritize the development of adequate storage and back-up solutions.
Without such measures in place, Australia's manufacturing sector, including alumina and aluminium production, could face significant risks.
The largest battery in Australia, for example, can power only half of the Portland smelter for a mere hour.
This highlights the urgent need to recognize the role of gas in providing essential back-up capacity during the energy transition.
Australia has long emphasized the importance of value-adding industries to diversify its economic activity beyond raw commodity exports.
These industries, including alumina and aluminium, have contributed significantly to the nation's job creation and wealth.
Yet, current policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions could inadvertently hinder these value-adding industries.
Australia's manufacturing sector, which already ranks among the world's lowest emissions quartile, should not be subjected to counterproductive actions that risk carbon leakage in the global industry.
Alumina CEO Mike Ferraro highlights the complexity of manufacturing businesses, particularly alumina refineries and aluminium smelters. The transition to renewable energy cannot happen overnight, as the technology is still evolving and requires substantial investment.
Manufacturing activities in these sectors demand a reliable and consistent energy supply. Insufficient acknowledgment of the timeline for technology development and the availability of cost-effective renewable resources can pose a significant challenge to these industries.
Gas peaking, provided by gas-fired electricity plants, offers an effective solution to support the transition to renewable energy.
These plants can quickly provide the necessary back-up capacity, ensuring a stable energy supply during the transition phase.
Greater collaboration between the government and businesses is crucial to ensure that gas can fulfill its role effectively.
Moreover, gas plays a vital role in backing up renewable energy sources, offering a reliable solution to mitigate the intermittent nature of renewables.
Sadly, Labor, the Greens and Teals are demonising gas, leaving Australia with no viable mitigation solution.
Family First supports Peter Day's concerns regarding Australia's energy policy and its potential impact on the manufacturing sector.
Any transition should be done only based on a properly scoped economic and engineering assessment, something no political party has done because of the climate alarmist rush to renewables.
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