Bill Shorten says Labor will invest billions in new power generation if it wins the next election.Labor will subsidise 100,000 household batteries and invest $15 billion in energy transmission and generation if it wins the next federal election.
The huge investment includes money for a second connection to Tasmania, so it can act as the “battery of the nation” to meet peak demands.
n households will also get large discounts on energy-saving batteries to support their solar panels.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Labor can’t be trusted to put batteries in homes after four people died installing pink batts in the insulation scheme under Kevin Rudd’s leadership.
Labor leader Bill Shorten on Thursday unveiled Labor’s plan for electricity, putting money aside to fund “value-for-money” projects.
“We will turbo-charge the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, doubling its original capital with an additional $10 billion over five years,” Mr Shorten said in a speech in Sydney.
He’s also promised $5 billion to modernise the transmission network, including the second Basslink cable.
“Communities are going to be generating much more of their own power in their own neighbourhood. We need a national grid and network that supports this,” Mr Shorten said.
Labor will give $2000 subsidies for 100,000 household batteries which cost around $10,000 each.
It will aim to help one million more households have battery systems by 2025.
But Mr Morrison said the plan to get batteries into homes would fail like the home insulation scheme, which was cut short when four installers died.
“We have gone from pink batts to pink batteries. They never learn from their mistakes, the Labor Party,” Mr Morrison told reporters.
He said the “expensive subsidies” would be paid for by higher taxes and said families struggling to get by would not go out to buy a household battery, even with a subsidy.
“I don’t know how out of touch Bill Shorten can be if he thinks that a family here in Sydney with two people learning about $90,000 a year can somehow have a lazy $10,000 laying around to go and buy one of his pink batteries,” he said.
Labor also intends to put the National Energy Guarantee – the coalition’s dumped energy policy – on the table for bipartisan support.
The Smart Energy Council estimates new household battery systems could help homes save more than 60 per cent on their power bills.
They would also reduce peak demand in the electricity grid and improve the grid’s reliability.
Mr Morrison also said Labor’s policy – which also includes a 45 per cent emissions reduction target and 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 – was “five times worse than the carbon tax”.
Electrical Trades Union national secretary Allen Hicks welcomed the announcement, but said more needed to be done to fix damage caused by privatisation and inept market regulation.