Australia’s Low Pollution Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation was released by the Australian government yesterday and based on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, greenhouse gas emission prices could be between $23 and $32 per tonne, leading to a once only rise in the consumer price index (CPI) of between 1 and 1.5 per cent in 2010.
The bottom line for households is an expectation of an increase of an average of $4 – $5 extra per week on electricity and $2 extra per week on gas and other household fuels. For low and middle income households, this will be offset by increased government assistance. The additional costs for electricity will help make home solar power more attractive, particularly if government rebates are still available at that point and especially if gross feed in tariffs are introduced.
Australia has a wide range of options to assist in the transition to a low carbon emission future; including renewable energy sources such as wind energy, solar power and geothermal energy, plus the possibility of the highly controversial and at this point, untested, prospect of carbon capture and storage.
According to the Treasury’s economic modelling, renewable energy will play a critical part in reducing Australia’s energy related greenhouse gas emissions, with the primary driver of renewable energy being the Government’s Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) of 20 per cent of by 2020.
By 2050, it’s expected the share of renewables in Australia will grow to 40 – 51 per cent under emission pricing and the alternative energy sector is predicted to be up to 30 times larger than it is in 2008, creating huge employment opportunities in Australia in the clean tech sector.
The full 292 page report: “Australia’s Low Pollution Future – The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation” can be downloaded here (PDF 2.2 meg.)