Green sets in on Australia’s election agenda

(ADPnews) – Aug 10, 2010 – With the national election less than a fortnight away, Australian political parties are warming up to clean energy and coming up with ways to aid the country in reaching its bold renewables targets.

The Australian Greens have promised that if they come to power they will extend AUD 5 billion (USD4.6bn/EUR 3.5bn) worth of loan guarantees for renewable energy developments of 100 MW or more at a single site.

Meanwhile, ruling Labor Party has vowed to spend USD 1 billion over ten years to galvanise growth in the nation’s renewable energy sector.

The Greens’ renewables loan guarantee scheme will take its hue from a similar policy in place in the US and provide 100% guarantee to emerging renewable energy technologies such as solar thermal with storage, geothermal and ocean energy.

The scheme will also pay out a feed-in tariff (FiT) to accelerate Australia’s shift to a 100% renewable energy powerhouse.

“If we are to make that a reality, we need a well-designed suite of policies to get us there - a strategic plan, an ambitious renewable energy target complemented by a feed-in tariff, a grant program and a loan guarantees scheme,” says Senator Christine Milne, deputy leader of the Greens.

The loan guarantees would be open for two years and be managed jointly by the departments of treasury and finance, resources, tourism and energy and climate change and energy efficiency.

Australia has committed to a target to meet 20% of its energy needs from renewables and cut greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020. At the moment, a paltry 1% of the country’s energy comes from green sources. The nation should make an estimated 45 terawatt hours (TWh) over a decade to deliver on its bold target. The industry says over AUD 28 billion worth of generation capacity should go live by 2020.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.912/EUR 0.694)

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