The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has slammed the Turnbull Government’s budget a week after it released a plan to Repower Australia with 100 per cent renewables by 2030.
ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy also expressed disappointment in the Turnbull Government’s fossil fuel subsidies, plus cuts to the environment budget.
She said a “good government” would reduce fossil fuel subsidies and increase funds for clean energy and environmental protection.
Ms O’Shanassy also described the Budget as “reckless” because it slashes investment in a clean pollution-free environment.
Repower Australia Plan
The ACF is promoting the ‘Repower Australia Energy Plan‘, which outlines a totally clean energy future. It’s based on the premise that we need to upgrade our old fossil-fuel energy system and move towards harvesting clean and affordable sun and wind power instead.
Furthermore, it states that all Australians should have access to affordable clean energy such as solar power, no matter their circumstances.
Repower Australia is a collaboration between the ACF, GetUp!, Solar Citizens, the Nature Conservation Council, Environment Victoria and 350.org. It pursues three key goals:
- Rewriting the rules – to deliver affordable clean energy for all. This includes rewarding people for contributing to the energy system, and providing a “fair go” for all consumers including those without solar power.
- Re-powering the country – by ramping up the shift to clean energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency. This promotes an inclusive approach so that everyone can benefit from clean energy. It also recommends making Australia into a renewable energy “superpower” exporter.
- Replacing the polluters – through a gradual phase-out of coal-fired power and transition plans for workers and communities. The introduction of strong pollution standards is also emphasised here.
ACF’s vision for Australia’s renewable energy system
The Repower plan says Australia’s renewable energy system could be “big on wind and solar”. It uses modelling by UNSW, CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia.
The Plan involves a mix of technologies. These include pumped hydro and energy storage, similar to the Tesla Powerpack facility in Port Augusta. Solar batteries for domestic consumers would in addition form part of the mix.
The plan’s projected energy mix includes local and community ownership of up to 45 per cent. It would also be dynamic in terms of responding to need, able to dispatch power quickly from agile energy storage systems.