Submission on Victoria’s Renewable Energy Roadmap

The Minerals Council of Australia Victorian Division (MCA) welcomes the opportunity to provide its submission on Victoria’s Renewable Energy Roadmap. 

The minerals industry is a relatively small employer considering the scale of its economic contribution, with 8,900 people employed in the industry as of August 2015.  Despite its comparatively small size, the minerals industry’s contribution to the Victorian economy is the largest per employee by a considerable margin with a gross value add per employee of over $820,000 (gross value added/number of employees).

Coal provides a significant portion of baseload energy in Victoria (86 per cent) and throughout Australia (70 per cent), providing cheap and reliable energy for millions of people.  This has given Victoria a comparative advantage as a place to invest in operations such as manufacturing, and has provided the Victorian economy with value from the utilisation of our natural resources. 

Changes to energy generation in Victoria must form part of a national conversation and must be tackled at the national level through an agreed approach, not a patchwork of state-based renewable energy and climate change policies. 

A target of at least 20 per cent generation from renewable sources by 2020 plus a further target for 2025 duplicates and adds to the national renewable energy target. 

Renewable energy must win increased market share on its own merits, not be guaranteed by expensive mandatory targets and feed-in tariffs

Large consumers of energy require access to continuous and reliable power at an affordable price.  The significant additional cost of renewable energy may also impact the profitability of large energy users and thus, their viability.  The impact of higher energy prices on the Victorian economy must be fully costed.    

With the projected increase in Victoria’s population, all energy sources will be required in the years ahead.  Renewables may have a growing role, but will continue to account for a relatively modest proportion of the energy mix for the foreseeable future.  Victoria should continue to focus its efforts on taking advantage of the unique endowments of the state and the potential to drive low emission technologies in baseload energy. 

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