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‘Game has permanently changed’ in Australia as energy debate heats up

Energy policy is still dividing Coalition MP’s despite a fresh plea from business leaders to end the stalemate.

Several backbenchers are unsatisfied with the current design of the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee, saying reforms are needed including new investment in coal-fired power.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is opposing the policy as it stands, saying he would cross the floor if changes aren’t made.

Outgoing CEO of the Australian Energy Council Matthew Warren has weighed in on the debate, telling Ross Greenwood the energy “game has permanently changed” in Australia.

He says it’s now cheaper to invest in renewables over coal, despite coal-fired power stations providing reliable base-load power.

“If you’re building a new power station, new generation, the cheapest source of electricity is now wind and solar.”

He says the challenge will be ensuring the power in the grid is reliable with a new energy mix.

“That’s what we’re really managing now is how do we ensure we get the cheapest source of new power but it’s reliable in a way that we can run the grid the way we’ve run it in the past.”

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