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A Joint Statement by
Senator Robert Hill, Minister for the Environment
John Moore, Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism
Senator Warwick Parer, Minister for Resources and Energy
20 November 1997
Development and commercialisation of renewable energy is a major focus of the Climate Change package released by the Prime Minister today.
Environment Minister Robert Hill said that renewable energy is the global key to long-term greenhouse emission reductions.
"At last reckoning, energy generation accounted for over 220 million tonnes or just under half of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. For that reason the energy sector remains the major focus of our response activity.
"Today's announcement by the Prime Minister includes a target for retailers and major wholesale purchasers of electricity to source an additional 2 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010. These sources include photovoltaics, biomass, solar hot water, wind or other emerging technologies.
"On current projections, renewable energy was expected to decline as a share of Australian energy supply. This package will not just halt that slide but will lead to a growth in the share of renewables. By encouraging the growth of renewable technologies now, Australia will be in a position to progressively increase the share of renewable energy beyond 2010."
Other elements of the renewable energy package are:
Industry Minister John Moore highlighted funding of more than $60 million the Government will be spending on a range of programs to support the commercialisation of renewable energy technologies.
"There will be a range of technologies at reduced cost available in Australia to meet the target.
"The Government is ensuring that Australia maintains its leadership in this vital industry of the 21st century.
"The initiatives will also have important benefits for the domestic industry. With new commercialisation and uptake of renewable energy technology here, and for export, the Australian renewable energy industry is set to enter a new growth phase.
"There will be significant long term benefits for the environment and employment."
Resources and Energy Minister, Warwick Parer, said that as the package includes elements to encourage renewable energy from both the supply and the demand side, maximum benefits will accrue for the environment and for Australian industry and consumers.
"Many elements of Australia's bold process of gas and electricity market reform are world best practice. This new package will ensure that renewable energy will be able to compete more actively in energy markets."
Matt Brown (Senator Hill's Office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Cheryl Cartwright (John Moore's Office) 02 6277 7580
Bob Baudino (Senator Parer's Office) (02 6277 7440 or 0419 438 818