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Emerging Renewables Announcement

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

The $40 million announced by the Federal Government today for emerging renewable energy technologies is a welcome start to driving innovation in emerging technologies, according to the clean energy industry.

However more investment will be needed if Australian innovators are to harness the suite of world class clean energy assets and become world beaters.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said one of the initiative’s strengths was that the money would be allocated in the next year, delivering an immediate kick start for clean tech innovation.

“Today’s Emerging Renewables announcement is positive and well targeted,” Mr Warren said.

“It is a good start but we will need more to deliver a generation of research and development in the next decade. This initiative on its own is too modest to be the game changer that is needed by innovative companies who are doing it tough,” Mr Warren said.

A comprehensive greenhouse strategy must include an effective carbon price, support for emerging technologies, efficient and effective measures to use energy more efficiently as well as large scale deploy of clean energy technologies.

“The industry hopes this will be just the beginning of further financial support from the Federal Government to give a leg up to Australian technology on the world stage,” said Mr Warren.

“Innovation by its nature carries with it a high degree of risk. Whether it’s wave energy, geothermal or solar thermal, we should support private innovation through its early steps and stop the brain drain overseas.”

Mr Warren said Australia had some of the best clean energy resources in the world and had a real opportunity to be a global leader.

“We need to help all our new sources of renewable clean energy generation to reach maturity so they can make a meaningful contribution to our national 20 per cent renewable energy target (RET) by the end of the decade,” he said.

No reason to delay energy efficiency ‘no brainers’

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

The Gillard government should move ahead immediately with energy efficiency policies which cut household and business costs while reducing our impact on the climate, the Australian Greens said today.

The recommendations of the Energy Efficiency Task Group, outlined in this morning’s papers, appear to be largely in line with Green policies, although not as ambitious. They include a national energy efficiency target scheme, removal of the Fringe Benefits Tax Concession which rewards driving longer distances and a form of efficiency standard for light vehicles.

“Energy efficiency is such a no-brainer that it is baffling that successive governments have allowed Australia to fall so far behind the world. It’s time to catch up,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

“I will be encouraging Minister Combet to act on the recommendations of this report as fast as possible whilst continuing progress towards a carbon price.

“Certainly a carbon price will help drive energy efficiency, but there is absolutely no reason to delay our efforts to increase energy efficiency while we work out the mechanism for pricing pollution.”

“In fact, getting started with efficiency measures will show the community how much we can all save on our energy bills with a bit of effort and smooth the path to a carbon price.”

“The Greens have proposed an energy efficiency target scheme to run in parallel to the renewable energy target scheme as an efficient and effective way to help householders and businesses find ways to save on their energy bills and we’re pleased to see a similar recommendation in this report.”

“However, it would be a huge missed opportunity if that target were set at such a weak level that our energy demand kept rising. With a little ambition, we can actually turn around Australia’s sky-rocketing energy demand and start to use less energy to do more.”

“Removing the FBT concession that encourages people to drive more is something the Greens and others have been calling for for many years, and was also recommended in the Henry Tax Review. It should be first cab off the rank in Treasurer Swan’s next Budget.”

“We will be keeping a close watch on the recommendations for emissions standards for vehicles and the government fleet. These need to be ambitious enough to drive real change, instead of just keeping pace with business-as-usual improvements that the industry is already achieving.”

“The Greens have always said governments should help people reduce the amount they have to drive, by investing in public transport and cycleways, and reduce the impact of driving when they have to use their car. We should really be aiming for electrification of the entire fleet, powered by renewable energy, over time.

“Energy efficiency is a way to make Australia’s manufacturing sector more competitive, not less. Not striving for high enough standards shuts us out of European and Chinese markets.”

“The government should not be playing down this report – it should get out and sell the message that we can reduce our climate impact while saving money on our energy bills.”

Source: AuSES.

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