Energy crisis worsens while we wait for new windfarms 20 June 2024

Tas Labor

Premier Jeremy Rockliff has admitted that Tasmania’s energy shortage is now so dire Hydro has been forced to fire up the combined cycle gas turbine at the Tamar Valley Power Station for the first time since 2019.

Despite having the best wind resource in the country, the minority Liberal government is burning gas just to keep the lights on as Hydro’s dam levels have fallen to their lowest levels in more than six years.

The Premier said he can’t make it rain. One thing he could have done is build more windfarms, but the reality is that his minority Liberal government has made Tasmania the hardest place to build a windfarm in the nation. It’s now nearly four years since the last windfarm came online in Tasmania*.

The Liberals’ failure to deliver more renewables to the state has cost Tasmania several major hydrogen projects after proponents were told there’s no power available at any price. It has also meant that at least a dozen major Tasmanian businesses have been told their investments can’t proceed until new energy projects are built.

The Premier has signalled that Tasmania is closed for business and deterred private sector investment in our renewable energy future. Tasmania’s shortage of power is damaging our economy and costing our state thousands of safe, secure, well-paid jobs.

Over the past eight months, Tasmania has imported an average of 183GWh of energy more than it has exported over Basslink. That means more than a fifth of the state’s total power consumption has come from the mainland.

If relying on imported power, firing up gas plants and worryingly low dam levels isn’t an energy crisis, what is?

*Granville Harbour Wind Farm became fully operational on December 18, 2020

Janie Finlay MP

Shadow Minister for Energy & Renewables

/Public Release. View in full here.