December 1, 2015

In Australia, Greens Propose New $500m Renewable Energy Body

A new $500 million government authority would deliver a 15-year pipeline of clean energy projects through a combination of reverse auctions and direct investment under a Greens plan to boost renewable energy and close down coal-fired power stations.

Federal Greens Leader Richard Di Natale will on Sunday announce RenewAustralia, a key element of the party's policy to make Australia's energy generation 90 percent renewable by 2030.

The new body would be tasked with planning and driving the transition to a new clean energy system. It would work alongside the CSIRO, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to bring innovative clean energy technologies to full commercial deployment.

In the run-up to the high-stakes Paris climate change conference that begins later this month, the Greens have also announced they also want to create a $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund to help coal workers and communities as coal-fired power stations close down.  

Senator Di Natale said the plan --  which draws inspiration from similar schemes across the globe -- would power the economy and create thousands of jobs. 

"Transitioning to clean energy is the key to unlocking Australia's economic potential and combating global warming," he said.

"While both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten talk about tackling climate change, they have locked us into the industries of the last century, supporting coal and vested interests."

The Greens' renewable energy policy of 90 per cent by 2030 is by far the most ambitious among the political parties.

Labor this year announced a 50 per cent target by 2030. The government has only a 23.5 per cent by 2020 target.

Greens deputy leader Larissa Waters said her party's plan would transform Australia's energy system from one of the dirtiest in the world to one of the cleanest.

"If Malcolm Turnbull doesn't take anything stronger to the UN Climate Summit than Tony Abbott's pathetic emissions targets then it will be a disastrous failure of leadership," she said.

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