08 July 2011
The Fairfax broadsheets are running a preview of the renewable energy part of the carbon price package.
According to Tom Arup and Adam Morton, all of Australia’s national renewable energy programs, including Solar Flagships and the Australian Solar Institute, will be rolled into a new Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
This is the result of the Greens work in the carbon price committee (MPCCC), in particular Senator Christine Milne.
We will have to wait to get detailed information but it is clear that this is a major rebuff to the Greenhouse Mafia, who run energy policy in Australia.
The politics will be revealed today, when the Government hosts a Roundtable on large scale solar. This is happening as part of the deal negotiated by the Greens when they passed PM Julia Gillard’s flood levy earlier this year.
To get an idea of the anti-renewables bias that ARENA is supposed to break through, see this briefing note I prepared for today’s Roundtable.
In the briefing note, you will see that Energy Minister Martin Ferguson and his Department are basing policy on the presumption that solar power will not become cheap for 20 years or more.
Where international best-practice projections for solar cost are around $100/MW by 2020, the Government is projecting costs of up to $740/MW.
Today is hopefully the start of rational, informed energy policy for Australia.
This will allow us to reap the benefits of the renewable energy revolution, with cheap, reliable, emissions-free electricity, within a decade.