October 30, 2007 (The Australian) -A Rudd Labor Government will set a 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target for Australia to reach by 2020, Kevin Rudd said today. Under pressure over the blunder on the future of Kyoto, Mr Rudd today announced a policy that brings Australia into line with most developed nations including Europe, China and many American states.
Mr Rudd said a 20 per cent target was the equivalent of powering Australia’s 7.5 million homes for a year.
Labor’s 20 percent tops the Coalition’s target of 15 per cent.
Labor says the clean energy generated under the target would amount to 45,000 gigawatt hours per year, or enough to power Australia’s 7.5 million homes for a year.
That represented an increase of 15,000 gigawatt hours on the existing mandated scheme, Labor said.
The expanded scheme would reduce greenhouse emissions between 2010 and 2030 by 342 million tonnes, compared to 219 million tonnes under the Howard Government’s target, Labor said.
The ALP put the cost of the measure, together with an emissions trading scheme, at $200 million to $600 million by 2050 – the equivalent of $10 to $30 for every Australian over almost 50 years.
The new target would expand the use of solar, wind and geothermal or hot rock technology, Labor said.
Greenpeace immediately welcomed Kevin Rudd’s commitment to increase Australia’s renewable energy target to 20% by 2020 as a real boost to Australia’s renewable energy industries as a first step to greater future commitments.
Head of campaigns Steve Campbell said Labor target will deliver at least 15,000 GWh more renewable energy than the Coalition’s clean energy target; equivalent to enough additional renewable energy to supply two million Australian households .
“This target, if introduced, will lead to strong growth in Australia’s renewable energy industry and help make up for lost time,” he said.
“Importantly, the target should be adequate to support further manufacturing jobs in Australia and will help reverse the trend of renewable energy companies leaving Australia for greener pastures.
“Unlike the Coalition’s clean energy target, the ALP’s MRET represents an increase on already existing state targets and excludes so called ‘clean coal’ technologies, which are neither clean nor renewable.”
The Clean Energy Council also welcomed the new target.
“This is a fantastic announcement and it’s an excellent step forward for Australia,” chief executive Dominique La Fontaine said.
“This initiative from the ALP finally puts Australia back in the clean energy game, internationally.”