INDUSTRY has applauded the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) agreement to implement a national energy efficiency strategy by December 2008. The timetable is achievable and will clear the way for billions of dollars of investment in our transition to a low carbon economy.
However the Clean Energy Council noted that the lack of reported discussion on both the renewable energy target and a nationally consistent gross feed-in tariff signalled a missed opportunity to quickly secure Australia’s clean energy future.
General Manager-Policy, Rob Jackson said: “Securing a robust renewable energy industry in Australia is the surest insurance for our economic security”.
“Industry is waiting for the sign off on policies to rapidly expand production throughout Australia’s metropolitan and regional areas, providing jobs, growth and economic stimulation right when the country needs it most,” Jackson said.
A smooth transition to a low carbon economy will be achieved through ensuring a powerful policy framework that includes:
• a substantial energy efficiency effort that will lower energy demand;
• significant increases in renewable energy generation to 20% by 2020 through increasing the target and introducing nationally consistent gross feed in tariffs;
• increased funding towards research and development of renewable energy solutions; and
• reducing any barriers to transition.
“The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is the cornerstone of our climate change policy; however it will only succeed with these complementary measures,” he added.
The Clean Energy Council is looking forward to working with the Council of Australian Governments on the national climate change strategy and other key energy policies. COAG is due to hold its next meeting in Canberra on 17 November 2008.