ACT Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury's willingness to accept at least a partial degree of electricity generation agnosticism as part of the long-awaited energy capacity mechanism reflects the fact he is the only Greens politician in the country who is under an obligation to keep the lights on.
While far from being excited about the prospect, Mr Rattenbury has indicated that if push came to shove he would endorse payments being made under the scheme to fossil-fuel generators in order to maintain reliability in the electricity grid while Australia transitions to net zero.
One of the longest-serving members of the ACT government, Mr Rattenbury is not only in office but also one of the ALP-Greens administration's most senior - and arguably hardest-working - members. In addition to his responsibilities as the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Greens leader is also the Attorney-General, the Minister for Gaming and the Minister for Consumer Affairs.
His willingness to flex has set him apart from the national leader of the party, Adam Bandt, and the other members of the federal party who are implacably opposed to any payments that may be construed as a subsidy for fossil-fuel electricity generation.
This means the most successful Greens politician in the country is now at odds with the ideology of the national arm of his party. Mr Rattenbury has chosen to put the welfare of Canberrans, and his responsibility to the government of which he is a member, ahead of a high-minded intellectual purity that, while well-meaning, is not necessarily helpful during a national power emergency.
While there are many, both on the right and the left, who will deride his decision, the reality is that as the ACT's Energy Minister Mr Rattenbury - whose credentials on emissions reduction have never been in doubt - has had to cut his suit to fit his cloth.
South-eastern Australia came perilously close to running out of power last week, and only swift action by the Albanese government in suspending the energy market staved off rolling blackouts that would have disrupted the economy and caused significant hardship for millions of people living in some of Australia's largest cities and coldest climates.
In the words of Margaret Thatcher: "This is no time to go wobbly."
Instead of taking pot shots at what is pragmatism and common sense over ideological point-scoring, Mr Rattenbury's federal colleagues would do well to consider his proposal for a tiered level of support under the energy capacity mechanism.
He is suggesting that renewables be prioritised over, and receive higher payments under the scheme, than their fossil fuel powered competitors: "I believe this would offer a better long-term outcome for the community as it would progress the energy system towards the zero emissions we need, rather than just propping up existing coal and gas generation," he said.
Mr Rattenbury's position appears to be broadly compatible with the recommendation by the Energy Security Board to include fossil-fuel generation in the proposed capacity mechanism hoped to be in place by 2025.
This makes sense. The reality is that while renewables are the future, we aren't quite there yet. Recent events have shown it is still soon to pull the plug on fossil fuels - especially gas, which has the capacity to smooth out bumps in the electricity supply until the transition is complete.
The federal Greens, whose willingness to make the perfect the enemy of the good when Julia Gillard was PM helped set the stage for a decade of climate wars, need to understand public support for net zero could quickly erode if power outages were to become a part of everyday life.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.