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Part 2: Labor’s climate policy funding shuffle dance

This is the second part of our special series on the Labor Party’s 2010 climate policies. Part one is here. This edition, we discuss the funding shuffle dance that is Labor’s renewable energy policies.

Renewable energy (which includes ‛clean coal’ – who knew?)

Renewable Energy Future Fund (is this superannuation for wind farms?)

Well, it’s $652 million to support renewable energy projects, and development of low emissions technologies. It will also be used for energy efficiency programs for households and business. Sounds good, investing in new renewable technologies, doesn’t it? Except, as the Beyond Zero Emissions report outlines, we already have the technology to transition Australia to 100% clean energy.

But hey, we can always improve on existing technology, right? And household energy efficiency is a really effective, cheap way to reduce emissions, so that’s a great use of taxpayer dollars. Only problem: $9 million of this renewable energy money will be used to pay for the Big New Focus Group (BNFG) Huh. Wonder what else they’ll drain this one for. Don’t worry, it’s just a Future Fund, and the future never arrives! Right?

Connecting to the matrix

This is a new policy announcement – $1 billion over a decade to connect renewable energy projects to the electricity grid. Now, if we could only take that $2 billion going into ‛clean coal’ research and put it into actual renewable energy, we might have something substantial to connect to the grid. And how about the rest of the $9 billion we spend on fossil fuel subsidies? We could connect up a lot of renewable energy projects with $9 billion!

Solar Flagships (conjuring up confused images of ships with flags and solar panels)

This was announced in last year’s budget and was supposed to be a $1.5 billion program to establish large solar-power stations. This is great, yes? This is what Australians want – large scale renewable projects! So how’s it going so far? (more…)

August 18, 2010 at 12:09 am 3 comments

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