Friday, August 14, 2009

Greens propose amendments to unleash renewable energy

Friday 14 August 2009

The Australian Greens today released proposed amendments to strengthen
the Renewable Energy Target bill and unleash the tremendous potential of
renewable energy.

Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, wrote to Ministers Wong
and Combet setting out the amendments which have been circulated to all
Senators this morning. Senator Milne also moved in the Senate yesterday
to give precedence to the RET bill over all other business of the Senate
as soon as it is passed in the House of Representatives.

"It is time to end the unnecessary and damaging delays both old parties
have caused to the renewable energy bill," Senator Milne said.

"Unlike the Continue Polluting Regardless Scheme, which would have held
back action on the climate crisis, the renewable energy target bill is a
vital step in the right direction, even if it is not as strong as it
could and should be.

"The collapse of the CPRS opens the door to a suite of other measures
that can be implemented immediately to move ahead with ambitious action
on the climate crisis, before an amended CPRS returns to the Parliament.
The renewable energy target is the first step.

"We Greens are calling on the Government to immediately bring on the
renewable energy target legislation, to unleash the tremendous potential
of renewable energy to re-energise Australia and create tens of
thousands of jobs.

"Both the big old parties have been using Australia's clever and clean
renewable energy industry as a political football. Both old parties bend
over backwards to sandbag the old polluters, but neither is willing to
give priority to the renewable energy powerhouse that the Australian
community wants."

The letter, from Senator Milne to Ministers Wong and Combet, sets out
the Greens' proposed amendments to:
* Lift the target to 30% by 2020, expressed as a percentage of
total energy demand, and introduce a two-yearly review of the adequacy
of the target;
* Decouple the bill from the Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme by simply removing the exemptions for polluting industry (since
there is compelling evidence that the pool price for electricity will
drop due to the RET, an exemption would give a windfall gain to
* Fix the problem of 'phantom renewable energy credits' created by
the solar multiplier and lift the size limit on solar installations;
* Replace the ill-thought-out solar multiplier with a
gross national feed-in tariff for all forms of renewable energy; and
* Strengthen the definition of renewable energy by removing native
forest bioenergy, solar water heating and heat pumps.

"I look forward to working with Minister Wong to improve the renewable
energy bill and get it signed into law as swiftly as possible."

Tim Hollo
Media Adviser
Senator Christine Milne | Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate
Change Spokesperson
Suite SG-112 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 3588 | M: 0437
587 562|

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