The Morrison government has been accused of planning to open up the taxpayer-owned green bank to fossil fuels investments through a change that explicitly defines gas-fired power as a “low-emissions technology”.
The energy and emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, introduced legislation to parliament on Thursday that would give the Clean Energy Finance Corporation an additional $1bn funding for a “grid reliability fund”.
Taylor said the new fund would be used to encourage private investment in infrastructure needed to balance electricity generation from solar and windfarms – battery and pumped hydro storage, “dispatchable” power plants that can be ramped up as needed, transmission projects and technologies that stabilise the grid.
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It would also allow the CEFC to administer a long-promised underwriting program for new electricity generation announced before