National News

Energy minister goes against own adviser


Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor wants to see the like-for-like replacement of coal and gas power plants that close across the country.

In a speech to industry experts in Sydney on Wednesday, Mr Taylor will maintain the coalition's commitment to carbon-heavy power generation and describe Labor's emission reduction targets as policy insanity.

The address will put him at odds with the government's top energy policy adviser, Kerry Schott, who will argue at the same event that extending the life of coal-fired power stations is ill-advised and will discourage investment.

Mr Taylor will argue the only realistic way to balance investment in renewable energy while retaining reliable energy is to maintain a mix of coal, gas and hydro generation.

He will also call on state and territory governments to remind industry more investment is needed in on-demand energy sources.

But Ms Schott, who heads the Energy Security Board, will tell the National Energy Summit it will be more difficult for coal plants to stay commercially viable as wind and solar energy project surge forward.

She will point to large-scale batteries, like one in South Australia, which could help maintain reliability.

Ms Schott will also suggest the government help transition coal-fired generator workers, and workers of closing mines, to new employment.

At the same forum, Victorian Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio will announce the state is "breaking free" of federal energy policy and will go it alone in establishing back-up power generation.

She will also criticise Mr Taylor's decision to delay a meeting of Commonwealth, state and territory energy ministers.

© AAP 2019