On Sept 12th the Clean Energy Council responded to the Federal Government’s Green Paper.
The Clean Energy Council (the Council) is Australia’s national clean energy industry peak body, formed in 2007 through the merger of the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and the Australian Wind Energy Industry Association (Auswind). With a membership of several hundred businesses, the Council covers a quarter of Australia’s total electricity production including gas, wind, hydro and bioenergy; and the spectrum of business in the low-emission energy and energy efficiency sectors including solar PV, solar hot water, biomass, geothermal and cogeneration. Clean Energy Council members are committed to tackling climate change, while developing financially viable businesses operating and a robust clean energy industry.
An accompanying letter from Clean Energy Council CEO, Rosemary Warnock, summarises:
“Measures are needed to complement the CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme), to ensure that the abatement is achieved quickly, safely, and at least cost with minimal disruption to the economy and quality of life of everyday Australians. In order to achieve the Government’s goals it will be necessary to rapidly deploy the additional mechanisms promised by the Government including:
• significant additional Research and Development (R&D) funding of key areas including:
- renewable energy technologies;
- energy efficiency innovations; and
- other low emission energy options (including clean coal and gas technologies).
• expansion of the Renewable Energy Target to achieve 20% renewable energy production by 2020;
• nationally consistent gross metered feed-in tariffs for solar PV and other small scale renewable energy generators;
• a national energy efficiency target; and
• further regulations, demonstrations, funding and incentives to overcome non-price based barriers to energy efficiency and embedded generation.
“The Clean Energy Industry is excited about the developments that will lead to a low carbon future and is poised to lead the development of Australia’s huge clean energy potential. The Council has already identified renewable energy investments totalling over 14,000MW (around 40,000GWh pa) already under consideration and at least 53,000GWh pa of easily identified energy efficiency savings by 2030.
To realise the full potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency within Australia and to meet substantial emissions reduction goals, it is crucial a suite of complementary measures are introduced quickly and that the full environmental costs of carbon are reflected in retail energy prices.
Only a CPRS price cap set well above the expected maximum permit price will allow this transition to occur. Setting a price cap that is not sufficiently above the expected carbon price, as implied by a soft-start approach, will encourage non-compliance, risk the environmental integrity of the scheme and see no change to business-as-usual. The Council recommends that if the price cap is not set well above the maximum expected permit price then a make-good provision must apply to maintain the CPRS’s objective of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
The Council supports five key principles to guide the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme market design. These are:
• simplicity; and
Finally, the Australian public has demonstrated a desire to go beyond the Government imposed measures on the abatement of greenhouse gasses through voluntary mechanisms such as GreenPower and Greenhouse Friendly™ and individual, business and Government moves towards carbon neutrality. The CPRS should be designed to allow additional voluntary action to drive Australia’s emissions to even lower levels. The final design needs to
include provisions for such voluntary additional action to reduce the number of permits available to the market.”
Click here to read the Clean Energy Council’s full report