FRIDAY 13 SEPTEMBER, 2013 |
The Harvester Of Australian Renewable Energy's Sorrow
Now that the coal dust of the Coalition's election win is starting to settle;
the soon-to-be clean energy corpses are easier to see.
It's been a period of mourning for many with a stake in Australia's renewable
energy efforts; with Prime Minister-elect Abbott's well-oiled scythe poised to
ruthlessly slash its way through related programs.
Here's a partial casualty list; victims of the war on a low-carbon future:
To be axed:
- Clean Technology Program
- Energy Efficiency Information Grants
- Clean Energy Skills package
- Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chain programs
- Connecting Renewables
- Climate Change Authority
- Climate Change Commission
- Geothermal and tidal elements of Direct Action.
To be gutted:
- "Million Solar Roofs" rebate to be halved and with a narrowed
- Money for the above to come out of ARENA's budget
- Reports of a further $532M to be cut from ARENA
According to The
, 33 climate change related schemes run by seven departments and eight agencies
will be collapsed into just three bodies run by two departments. Whether this
will provide better efficiency or just more bottlenecks interfering with
progress remains to be seen.
As is widely known, the Coalition Government has its sights set on bringing legislation to
axe the carbon tax to the first sitting of new Parliament; but it also realises
not get its wish until after the senate changes in July 2014 (and even then
there is some doubt).
It still isn't clear how much of the carbon tax assistance
package that millions of Australian households benefit from will remain if the carbon tax should be
many, this was money that
covered the all of the effects the tax had. Under the Labor
government, the tax was about to make way for the cheaper ETS; but the
assistance package would have remained unchanged.
While the Coalition appears to remain committed to a 20% Renewable Energy Target
(RET); something else that isn't clear is 20% of what figure - as currently legislated,
which resulted in a 41,000 GWh target; or given energy consumption projections are now less thanks to
energy efficiency efforts, a lower final GWh figure.
The Coalition also remains committed to
reviewing the RET next year. It's the short period between reviews that has given some investors the jitters
as it results in perceived instability.
The looming RET review may also
give households interested in but who have been putting off installing
some cause for concern. The promised rebates are by no means
set in stone and won't be for all - and current incentives could potentially also be at risk as a
result of a review.
For the fossil fuel industry, the road ahead is a much different one; with all sorts of
plans that will bring joy to its coal black heart and even more cha-ching to its
Coal, gas and oil industry lobbyists are reported to be descending on Canberra
in droves, ready to slither and slide their way along an already very well
greased path to the Coalition's door.
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