- Jeff Kennett and the Liberals privatised the State Electricity Commission in the mid 1990s. Since then prices have increased 170%.
- Big energy corporations are making over $400 million a year selling us overpriced electricity, and they’re holding back the transition to renewable energy so they can keep making mega-profits from dirty coal and gas.
- Victoria’s coal plants are some of the dirtiest in the world. Yallourn is the dirtiest in Australia. They’re making people sick and causing dangerous climate change.
- The Andrews Labor Government have extended the licenses of our two dirtiest coal plants - Yallourn and Loy Yang - so they can keep burning coal until 2032 and 2048.
- To avert the worst impacts of dangerous climate change, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground and rapidly move to 100% renewable energy, while supporting people and communities as we do it.
- 2300MW of solar and wind projects in north and west Victoria are stalled because the grid hasn’t been upgraded.
The Greens Plan:
- Build $9 billion worth of publicly-owned large-scale renewable energy - to undo the past damage of power privatisation and begin returning power to public hands.
- Significantly increase the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, up to 100% by 2030.
- Upgrade the transmission network to unlock a renewables boom across north and west Victoria - to bring part of the grid back into public hands and undo the neglect of corporate owners.
- Build $500 million worth of publicly-owned storage, centered in the Latrobe Valley.
- A plan to transition out of all coal in Victoria, with a timeline to remove the license to operate for all of Victoria's dirty coal plants by 2030.
- A just transition plan for the Latrobe Valley to create new industries and jobs.
- New pollution standards for coal plants, so they can’t continue to put toxic chemicals like mercury and sulphur into our air and damage our health.
- 10 Community Energy Hubs, so our communities can create their own clean energy.
Privatisation has failed
The energy market is broken. It is dominated by a few big companies who are pushing up prices and holding back the transition to renewable energy for their own profits.
When Kennett handed over our electricity system to private corporations to make a profit, it made electricity more expensive, less reliable and kept it dirty.
Power prices have increased by 170% since 1995.
By selling our public assets and essential services, Labor and the Liberals shirk their responsibility to our community and expect all of us to pick up the tab.
When we, the public, own our energy system, it exists to benefit all of us. Electricity is essential for all of us to live a good life, and it’s too important to leave to a few big corporations.
Increase the Victorian Renewable Energy Target
The Greens plan will transition Victoria’s energy away from dirty, polluting coal to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Our plan is to increase the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2025, to help us get to 100% by 2030. The Greens would achieve this by a combination of building publicly-owned large-scale renewable energy, which all Victorians will own, and supporting private and community projects through an expanded VRET.
Power in public hands
The Greens’ bold plan to bring power back into public hands includes:
- Publicly-owned renewable energy generation
- Publicly-owned energy storage
- Publicly-owned upgrades to the transmission network
- Power Victoria, a public energy retailer
Public renewables and storage
Coal companies have run our energy system and are ripping us off with over-priced electricity, complex contracts and undecipherable bills.
The Greens’ plan would build $9 billion worth of publicly-owned energy generation across Victoria over the next ten years. This will create jobs, drive down energy prices and give our kids the chance of a future free from dangerous pollution and climate change.
The Greens plan would also invest $500 million in big batteries and pumped hydro storage, centred in the Latrobe valley and owned by the public.
This investment will position the Latrobe Valley as the battery test bed for the world, creating new industries and jobs and attracting battery innovators from across the world to the Latrobe Valley.
Public network upgrades
Parts of regional Victoria have enormous renewables potential, with a great wind and solar resource ready and waiting. But right now, 2300 megawatts of renewables projects across north and west Victoria are being held back because the grid hasn't been upgraded. That’s the equivalent of 1.5 Hazelwood power stations!
Our plan will urgently invest the money needed to upgrade the grid, with the upgraded sections owned by the public, to unlock a solar and wind boom across north and west Victoria.
Dirty coal belongs in the past
Coal mines must be phased out, and quickly, to guarantee a safe climate. And we must do it in a way that supports people and communities.
A planned transition
The Greens have mapped a timetable for all coal power stations to be replaced by clean energy by 2030, giving communities advance notice so we can invest in new industries and jobs well before 2030. This will ensure a fair transition for workers and their communities.
The Greens plan would see new laws introduced to stop any new coal mines and coal mining licence extensions.
Licence extensions, like those announced by the Andrews Labor Government in mid 2018, are disastrous for the climate and misleading for workers and the community. It puts their future in the hands of big coal companies, who are only interested in their own profits.
Stopping toxic pollution
Victoria’s power stations are Australia’s dirtiest, and some of the dirtiest in the world. They spew out huge quantities of toxic sulphur, mercury, nitrogen and particle pollution.
The Greens plan requires power stations to introduce clean technologies for the remainder of their operating life, to stop toxic pollution and protect the health and well-being of the Latrobe Valley community.
Privatisation was devastating for the Latrobe Valley. Communities are often kept in the dark, like they were when Hazelwood closed. The Greens’ planned transition will ensure this doesn’t happen again.
The Latrobe Valley has huge potential for new industries and jobs. The planned replacement of coal with renewables is a new beginning.
With the enormous energy network capacity already in place, the Latrobe Valley is the perfect place to create a battery and storage test-bed for the world.
The Greens plan for the Latrobe Valley would:
- Make the Latrobe Valley the battery test-bed for the world, supported by $300 million of government investment in a battery 3 times the size of the Tesla battery in South Australia
- Develop the Latrobe Valley as a global centre for innovation in energy storage, supported by $200 million public investment in pumped hydro storage
- Support new offshore wind projects through our publicly-owned energy build, bringing new jobs and industry to the region
- Upgrade public housing with energy efficiency measures, put solar panels on all stand-alone public housing homes, and install solar panels and batteries in all public schools. These programs will be managed by Solar Victoria, located in the Latrobe Valley, creating hundreds more jobs.
For too long, big energy corporations have created unfair barriers to community energy. It's well past time this was fixed.
The Greens will continue to advocate to the Federal Government for reform to the regulation of electricity metering, and to network connection, to enable the community to take clean energy into their own hands.
The Greens will further support community energy with:
- $10 million in funding for 10 Community Energy Hubs across the state, to support uptake of clean energy and energy efficiency opportunities.
- A community energy quota for the Victorian Renewable Energy Target auction process.
Further policy information about our plan for a 100% Renewable Victoria is available here.
Related climate and energy policies
- Power Victoria – Our plan for a public energy retailer, to stop price-gouging by corporate energy companies and deliver savings on energy bills.
- Solar for Everyone, Solar for Schools and Solar for Public Housing – Our plans to ensure all Victorians can benefit from clean, renewable solar energy.
- A Victorian Climate Commissioner - Our plan to safeguard communities and the environment from climate change.
Header Photo: Ian Dick