Climate change is driving the most profound restructuring of the world economy this century – the transition from fossil fuel based energy to renewable energy. The transition is happening now and it is accelerating. With the right policies the renewable energy sector provides immense opportunities: it will drive jobs creation, drive manufacturing investment and put downward pressure on power prices for families and small businesses.
A Shorten Labor Government understands the fundamental importance of this transition and the massive opportunities it brings. We will put a strong renewable energy sector at the centre of Australia’s response to the challenge of climate change.
Transitioning electricity generation to renewable energy is also critical to dealing with carbon pollution. The electricity sector accounts for 33 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions – the single biggest source of emissions.
That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will:
- Ensure that 50% of the nation’s electricity is sourced from renewable energy by 2030;
- Provide certainty and flexibility with less red tape and more technology options for investment to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation;
- Provide $206.6m to ARENA to support a specific Concentrated Solar Thermal funding round;
- Establish a Community Power Network and Regional Hubs at a cost of $98.7m over four years; and
- Ensure the Commonwealth Government leads by example as a direct purchaser of renewable energy.
The Liberal Government has done everything in its power to try and destroy Australia’s share in one of the world’s fastest growing industries with devastating consequences for our country. In the last two years more than 2 million renewable energy jobs were added to the global economy, but over the same period 2,600 jobs were lost in Australia.
In 2014, clean energy investment grew in China (32 per cent), the US (8 per cent), Japan (12 per cent), Germany (3 per cent) and the UK (3 per cent). But over the same period, investment in large scale renewables dropped by 88 per cent in Australia– from over $2 billion to around $240 million.
A strong renewable energy sector will be at the centre of Labor’s response to the challenges of climate change. With the right policies the renewable energy sector also provides immense opportunities: it will drive jobs creation, drive manufacturing investment and put downward pressure on power prices for families and small businesses.
Labor’s 50 per cent target includes not just large-scale renewables but small and industry based generation. The existing LRET and SRES schemes will continue operate to 2020 as per current legislation.
We want to see solar panels become the norm on the roof-tops of Australian homes and businesses, with millions more to be built and installed over the next 15 years.
We want to see battery technology continue to improve so that electricity from solar panels can be stored in most homes and small businesses to lower power bills. We want to make sure that investors in windfarms and other renewable energy generators can be confident about investing.
Setting a long term signal for renewable energy will attract investment. Over $2.5 trillion is expected to be invested in renewables in the Asia Pacific region to 2030 – it’s our job to make sure that that investment is made here. The renewable energy and energy storage industries present an enormous economic opportunity of the next several decades.