rss
5

ACT’s 100% renewable energy target safe after Liberals’ election fail

Print Friendly

Hornsdale squareThe Australian Capital Territory will continue to lead Australia in its push to 100 per cent renewable energy after the Liberal Party’s attempt to wrest power failed in the weekend’s election, delivering Labor power for the fifth consecutive poll.

The ACT aims to source the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2020, and has already locked in the contracts with the solar and wind farm projects that will deliver that target.

Its policies have become a blueprint for other Labor states to follow, with both Victoria and Queensland to adopt its reverse auction programs which deliver lower prices and certainty for investors.

The Liberals initially opposed the policy on the basis of what it claimed were outlandish costs involved, and then agreed to support the target after admitting it would not add significant costs to consumers and after seeing overwhelming public support – 90 per cent from Canberrans.

However, after the push against renewable energy from Coalition parties at federal and state level after the recent blackout in South Australia, it was feared that the ACT Liberals would come under increasing pressure to change their mind.

Coalition politicians in South Australia, NSW, Queensland and of course federally have argued that high renewable energy targets will result in soaring costs and blackouts. A report for the Labor government in Queensland last week said that neither claim was true, and that its 50 per cent renewable energy target would lead to lower costs and no risk to energy security or reliability.

The ACT target is well under way with two solar farms and two wind farms already complete, and another solar farm and another five wind projects under construction or about to begin. A battery storage program and a hydrogen fuel trial are also under way.

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 8.22.15 AMThe biggest issue in this poll was in fact Labor’s light rail proposal, but the Liberals failed to make any headway, suffering a swing of 2.6 per cent. In Gungahlin, which is to be linked to the city centre and ultimately Woden by the light rail, Labor actually improved their position.

Labor will likely govern in partnership with the Greens, who delivered a one seat majority in the previous parliament and may help deliver a majority of between three and five seats on this occasion in a legislative assembly expanded from 17 seats to 25.

There is an outside chance that Labor will be able to govern in its own right or that the Greens, with at least two seats, will decide to sit on the cross-bench and exert the balance of power. The party with the biggest vote gain was the Sex Party, which stands an outside chance of winning a seat in Brindabella.

See also: Canberra power play: How one man’s vision too ACT to 100% renewables.  

RenewEconomy Free Daily Newsletter

Share this:

  • Rob G

    Educated voters do tend to vote progressively and the ACT is a fine example of that. But, you do get the feeling that state Liberals are getting doubly punished by their Federal colleagues and their toxic policy direction. ACT voters want no part of that! Next state to fall to progressives will be WA and hopefully NSW in their next election… Conservatives need to change their attitude towards renewables (and many other things to be fair), before they can be considered fit for office.

    • john

      Actually the IPA ex who got elected in WA actually embraces RE having seen the figures and realized that RE was the best way forward.

      • Rob G

        Eventually they learn. In the US many politicians happy pose with wind turbines as they now understand the public loves renewables. I eagerly await the day that Abbott stands proudly next to a wind farm (I expect to be waiting a long time)

  • john

    The ACT have locked in the same price of power for 20 years !!!!!!!!!
    Did you absorb that 20 years at the same price !!!!!
    With out a doubt there is no coming back from the bottom line the cost of energy in the ACT is going to get progressively lower against the rest of Australia every year forward.
    I expect large power users to move to the ACT they would be not exactly smart if they did not.

  • Rod

    It would be interesting to see what was important to voters.
    An opposition basing their attack on Public Transport!
    Many voters now realise building more roads won’t alleviate/avoid road congestion but COALition governments seem to be happy to subsidise personal motor vehicle use.
    I agree, no-one trusts Conservative Governments with RE policy.
    I think a swing to the Sex Party is another indication of voter disillusionment with the major parties.