Government and Opposition renewables deal welcome: But community will
pay so polluters can benefit
Sunday 16 August 2009
The Greens today welcomed news that community pressure has ensured that
the increased renewable energy target legislation will be implemented
However Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, expressed concern
that Penny Wong has picked up the phone to the Coalition to ensure that
the community will pay to install renewable energy so that polluters can
benefit from the cheap energy they produce.
“It is an ominous sign that Minister Wong has chosen to brown down the
renewable energy target with the coalition and the polluters,” Senator
“The Greens have proposed amendments to the bill that are supported by
renewable energy industry, while the Coalition and the Government are
doing the bidding of the big polluters.
“While this is a disappointing move, the critical point is that we bring
on the renewable energy target legislation as swiftly as possible, to
unleash the tremendous potential of renewable energy to re-energise
Australia and create tens of thousands of jobs.
“Modelling has shown clearly that the renewable energy target will
reduce the pool price of electricity because it will smooth the most
expensive peaks. Under this deal between the big old parties, the
polluters will get windfall gains from cheaper electricity without
having to pay to install the renewable energy in the first place. How is
that fair or reasonable?
“Both the big old parties have been using Australia’s clever and clean
renewable energy industry as a political football. Both old parties bend
over backwards to sandbag the old polluters, but neither is willing to
give priority to the renewable energy powerhouse that the Australian
Senator Milne wrote to Ministers Wong and Combet on Friday setting out
the Greens’ proposed amendments to the RET. The Greens’ amendments
* Lift the target to 30% by 2020, expressed as a percentage of
total energy demand, and introduce a two-yearly review of the adequacy
of the target;
* Decouple the bill from the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by
simply removing the exemptions for polluting industry (since there is
compelling evidence that the pool price for electricity will drop due to
the RET, an exemption would give a windfall gain to polluters);
* Fix the problem of ‘phantom renewable energy credits’ created by
the solar multiplier and lift the size limit on solar installations;
* Replace the ill-thought-out solar multiplier with a gross
national feed-in tariff for all forms of renewable energy; and
* Strengthen the definition of renewable energy by removing native
forest bioenergy, solar water heating and heat pumps.
“Having provided the amendments to her last week, I will be getting in
touch with Minister Wong again to encourage her to green up the
renewable energy bill with us, rather than brown it down with the
Coalition, and get it signed into law as swiftly as possible.”
Senator Christine Milne | Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate
Suite SG-112 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 3588 | M: 0437
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