Business pleas for government to back Finkel Review | AFR

Australia's business leaders have pleaded for politicians to fall in behind a market-based energy policy built on the Finkel Review's clean energy target to underwrite investment certainty and scathingly dismissed proposals for government to fund a coal fired power station as an answer to high energy prices.

Two of the most powerful figures in Australia's energy sector - former Origin Energy boss Grant King and Energy Australia managing director Catherine Tanna - have said no one in politics has clean hands on past energy policy.

During the BCA's roundtable discussion with the Australian Financial Review, Ms Tanna said that "nobody has a licence to go around and say that the market is working for customers as intended", because energy prices were so high.

But with a push underway within the federal government to provide support for the coal industry, and for government direct investment in a coal-fired power station, the BCA board was asked where coal should fit in to energy policy.

"The first thing I would say about that is coal is a legacy technology," Ms Tanna said.

"I'm not saying that it can't be part of the future mix. I'm just saying that it's a solution that my grandfather would have built.

"I think it is very, very unlikely to find a market participant that will fund such a new investment."