Emissions trading a hard sell without renewables

IN A report released on Friday, Professor Garnaut has upped the ante on the Government’s committed emission reduction targets but the clean energy sector says it can’t be done without complementary measures.

IN A report released on Friday, Professor Garnaut has upped the ante on the Government’s committed emission reduction targets but the clean energy sector says it can’t be done without complementary measures.

Rob Jackson, Clean Energy Council’s Policy Manager, said the Garnaut Review’s Supplementary Draft Report hadn’t made it clear how cuts could be made and that more information is needed.

“What I can tell you is that an expanded renewable energy target (RET) and introduction of an Energy Efficiency Target is needed to immediately stabilise greenhouse gas emissions and take pressure off emissions trading,” Jackson said.

Jackson also said with Garnaut’s suggested price caps, the government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) won’t be enough to turn the tide on energy investments, and complementary measures are required to ensure power comes from renewable sources.

“Professor Garnaut has set a starting price of $20 but this just isn’t high enough to deliver pollution reduction or to allow clean energy to compete against high emission fossil fuels.

“At that rate, we could see Australia end up with higher electricity prices, little abatement and no renewable energy infrastructure” Jackson warned.

Many of the Council’s members who are global renewable energy investors are preparing to invest under an expanded renewable energy target due to be implemented in the coming months, thereby committing to investment in Australia rather than overseas.

“Australia’s stationary energy sector is responsible for 50% of our greenhouse gas emissions, so any climate change solution must target the energy sector first,” he added.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, also commented on the reported and said in order to achieve the reductions stipulated would require “considerable effort”.

“The estimated carbon prices presented in Friday’s report are in the range of between $30 and $52 dollars a tonne by 2020 (in today’s dollars).

“Cost rises in this range would test the viability of many businesses and would give rise to significant restructuring,” Ridout said.