‘Scrutiny of the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce’s (TEST) Interim Report highlights the fragility of Tasmania’s energy resource capacity with the ongoing reticence of Basslink to provide the TEST with the information it needs to accurately assess Basslink’s ongoing reliability.

‘The inability to establish as robustly as we would have hoped does nothing to provide comfort or enthusiasm for investing in Tasmania when the Government can’t provide assurances on energy security’, said Robert Mallett, CEO of the TSBC.

‘The Interim Report makes it clear that Basslink is the second largest energy source after hydro-electricity in Tasmania and increased transparency from them is vital to articulating a clear vision for our energy security.’

‘The Report findings are consistent with recent TSBC publications highlighting the need for the Tasmanian gas market to be reviewed. To enable this sector to be considered secure, stimulation of growth and competition should be undertaken to allow this sector to play a more significant role. Retention of the Tamar Valley Power Station (TVPS) and use of some keen negotiating skills to ensure the efficient and affordable delivery of gas is vital to the ongoing operations of around 850 Tasmanian small businesses.’

‘TEST seems to want to redefine common terms used throughout the world when measuring risk. Its new terms ‘Impacted’, ‘Susceptible’, ‘Managed’, and ‘Resilient’ might sound hip but bear little similarity to the conventional high, moderate and low risk descriptors well understood by all. This causes some concern when the TEST report describes the short-term competitiveness of Tasmania’s energy costs (in particular for small businesses) as managed when the evidence shows that it is far from it.’ https://www.tsbc.org.au/index.php/2016/11/16/tsbc-charged-up-over-electricity-cross-subsidies/

The ability for a properly authorised person such as the suggested Monitor, Assessor and Energy Security Coordinators, to take some of the potentially risky decision making away from Hydro Tasmania is a sound suggestion by TEST; especially when wholesale electricity and renewable energy prices are skyrocketing or in the event of another carbon price on energy rearing its head again. This should hopefully provide some external oversight to balance the conflicting incentives between prudent management of hydro-electric storages on the one hand and maximising revenue opportunities on the other which have impacted Hydro Tasmania in the past.’

‘The TSBC calls on the Taskforce to publish all submissions on the Interim Report and undertake a further round of consultations on its draft final recommendations on medium and long term energy security and it’s modelling results before it publishes its Final Report. This would be consistent with its stated commitments to transparency in energy security and meaningful consultations with stakeholders. In addition, it should provide a foundation upon which existing and intending business to Tasmania can rely, to plan their business future.’

Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce – Interim Report