The Turnbull Government has prevented a backbench revolt by moving to ditch the Clean Energy Target proposed by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has given the strongest indication yet the Federal Government would not adopt the policy, saying a freefall in the cost of renewables meant there was no point in more subsidies.
Instead the Government is considering another kind of target, which would mandate a certain amount of dispatchable generation – power that can be dispatched on request – within the grid.
Dawson MP George Christensen said he would have crossed the floor to vote against the CET.
“I think that the Energy Minister’s comments regarding the lack of a need for subsidies for renewables are an astute observation,” Mr Christensen said.
“I declared my hand (opposing the CET) long ago, I was against it. There were a lot of backbench members who were expressing privately what I was saying publicly.”
Nationals senator Matt Canavan said more supply of baseload power was now needed.
“We now need more power in the market and our job would be made so much easier if Labor dropped its opposition to new coal-producing technologies,” Mr Canavan said.
It is understood the Government will not proceed with a target as recommended by Dr Finkel, which would have required a certain amount of power come from clean energy and likely included subsidies for renewables through the issue of certificates.