The Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) has agreed to develop a National Strategy for Energy Efficiency, to accelerate energy efficiency efforts across all governments and to help households and businesses prepare for the introduction of the Commonwealth Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
Streamlined roles and responsibilities for energy efficiency policies and programs are to be agreed by the end December 2008, and implementation of the Strategy will be finalised by June 2009.
Industry voiced its support for the agreement and the timeframe of implemention, by December 2008.
According to the Clean Energy Council (CEC), the timetable is achievable and will clear the way for billions of dollars of investment in our transition to a low carbon economy.
However, the CEC pointed to a lack of discussion on both the renewable energy target and a nationally consistent gross feed-in tariff suggesting it was a missed opportunity to quickly secure Australia’s clean energy future.
General Manager-Policy, Rob Jackson said: “Securing a robust renewable energy industry in Australia is the surest insurance for our economic security”.
"Industry is waiting for the sign off on policies to rapidly expand production throughout Australia’s metropolitan and regional areas, providing jobs, growth and economic stimulation right when the country needs it most,” Mr Jackson said.
The CEC suggests a smooth transition to a low carbon economy will only be achieved through ensuring a powerful policy framework that includes:
• a substantial energy efficiency effort that will lower energy demand;
• significant increases in renewable energy generation to 20% by 2020 through increasing the target and introducing nationally consistent gross feed in tariffs;
• increased funding towards research and development of renewable energy solutions; and
• reducing any barriers to transition.
“The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is the cornerstone of our climate change policy; however it will only succeed with these complementary measures,” Mr Jackson said.
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