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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

 

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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

15 June 2004

Government targets barriers to renewable energy


The Australian Government is today further expanding its support for renewable energy as it puts in place the key foundations for Australia's long term response to climate change.

Securing Australia's Energy Future, the government's comprehensive Energy White Paper was released today.

The White Paper includes more than $200 million in new funding to address barriers to renewable energy and demonstrate how these technologies can compete in a sustainable energy future.

The new programmes include:

The government has announced it will continue the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) at its current level and time frame. The MRET will deliver more than $2 billion in renewable energy investment by 2010.

A review of the MRET chaired by the Hon Grant Tambling recommended raising the MRET from 9,500 Gwh per year to 20,000 GWh per year by 2020.

"Implementing the Tambling recommendations would have doubled the cost of MRET to Australian energy consumers to more than $5.5 billion to 2020," said Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp.

"This kind of subsidy would be a burden on industry and would not address the key obstacles to renewables take-up.

"The actions we have taken target real barriers to penetration of renewable energy technologies. We want to make sure renewable energy plays its role in our energy system, but these technologies must be able to attract commercial investment."

The White Paper also sets out the government's long-term response to climate change in the energy sector. This includes a broader approach to developing low-emission technologies, which include renewable energy, as well as certain fossil-fuel based technologies.

The government will drive over $1.5 billion in low-emission technology investment through creation of a $500 million demonstration fund.

"Climate change is a very big challenge for the 21st century, and we need to make sure we have a wide range of cost-effective solutions for the future" said Dr Kemp. "Renewable energy can be a big part of this future by showing it can compete for commercial support in a carbon-constrained world."

White Paper details are available at www.pmc.gov.au/energy_future

Commonwealth of Australia