Victoria state wants to add gas to Australia's renewables goal - report
Jun 3, 2014 - The government of Australia's Victoria state has proposed to include power from gas-fired plants in the country’s renewable energy target (RET), daily The Age said today.
The proposed change is aimed at ensuring enough base-load power generation capacity so that the grid is able to respond to periods of peak demand. According to Victoria's suggestions, which have been stated in a submission to the federal government, Australia should also include in the RET power generated by burning wood waste from forest logging.
"Adding gas to the renewable energy target means it is no longer about renewable energy," said Greens Leader Greg Barber, as quoted by The Age.
Meanwhile, the Victorian government also believes that the national renewables goal should be lowered in line with projections for falling electricity demand, according to the report. The RET currently calls for 41,000 GWh of renewables power in 2020, which was estimated to represent 20% of Australia's total electricity needs in 2020. However, the Victorian government says that if declining demand is included in the calculation, these 41,000 GWh will actually translate into 27% of Australia’s total power at the end of the decade.
Australia’s renewables sector has been shaken in the past weeks by the ongoing review of the national RET programme, which is headed by former Reserve Bank board member and global warming skeptic Dick Warburton.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said last week that the reduction of the target will lead to an AUD-12-billion (USD 11bn/EUR 8bn) drop in investment in the sector and 6,600 fewer renewable energy jobs per year. If the RET is abandoned altogether, clean energy investment is calculated to fall by AUD 21 billion and the number of clean energy jobs per year will go down by 11,100.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.