Key Liberal electorates want renewable energy target: poll

A survey of key Liberal electorates shows voters want at least 50 per cent renewable energy target from the new National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

The Australia Institute (AI) poll was carried out in three major Liberal electorates: Warringah, Wentworth and Kooyong. These are the electorates of Tony Abbott, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg respectively.

Conducted on the evening of 19 October, the poll shows respondents:

  • Strongly support pricing carbon.
  • Are also more likely to support a NEG which achieves 50 per cent renewable energy.
  • Don’t think the NEG will reduce electricity prices.
  • Think the states should keep their own renewable energy targets.

Notably, respondents thought power prices were more likely to increase than decrease under the NEG.

50 per cent renewables target needed: Australia Institute

The government’s NEG recently replaced the Clean Energy Target (CET) proposed by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel in the Finkel Review.

Respondents were also asked if they were more likely to support the NEG if it targets 50 per cent or more renewable energy by 2030.

50 per cent renewable energy target wanted by majority of voters in key Liberal electorates.

Poll in key Liberal electorates shows a majority of voters want 50 per cent renewables. Image: Pixabay

Those answering ‘yes’ included:

  • 59.4 per cent in Wentworth
  • 55.7 per cent in Warringah
  • 60.5 per cent in Kooyong

The NEG modelling of 28-36 per cent clean energy share by 2030 is subsequently “inadequate” claims AI Executive Director Ben Oquist.

He said a planned carbon reduction of 26 per cent for the electricity sector will therefore shift the burden to other sectors like agriculture.

States should pursue their own renewable energy target

Poll respondents were finally asked if states should keep their own higher renewable energy target using solar panel systems plus solar storage batteries. Those answering ‘yes’ included:

  • 57.2 per cent in Wentworth
  • 55.7 per cent in Warringah
  • 61.9 per cent in Kooyong

Mr Oquist said the results were “overwhelming evidence” because the community wants to transition from coal to renewables.

A recent AI poll in Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s electorate also showed 60 per cent of New England voters are in favour of a CET.

Previous AI analysis also recommends carbon reduction of 40-55 per cent. This would ensure 2005 levels in the electricity sector by 2030.