The ACT Legislative Assembly has launched a new inquiry into the national capital’s renewable energy industry, with the aim of identifying new opportunities to “establish the ACT as a national hub for renewable energy innovation”.
According to the terms of reference, the inquiry will consider how to further encourage the development of new clean energy innovations and research collaboration within the ACT, identify ways to finance new renewable energy projects, and support further adoption of energy storage and zero emissions vehicles.
The inquiry will also examine the effectiveness of the ACT government’s clean energy and climate change policies.
The inquiry will be undertaken by the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Environment, Climate Change and Biodiversity, which will seek stakeholder input into how to further support the growth of the territory’s renewable energy sector.
“The ACT has been a leader in this technology, and was the first major Australian jurisdiction to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy. We want to look ahead to ensure that the ACT can become a global exporter of renewable energy expertise,” committee chair Marisa Paterson said.
“We want to hear about ways to demonstrate leadership and innovation in this sector, how to connect people and organisations to spark ideas and ways to promote the ACT as the home of clean energy.”
The establishment of the inquiry sees the ACT become the latest jurisdiction to engage with stakeholders and seek advice on the future direction of its renewable energy industries.
The New South Wales and Queensland governments both recently established new renewable energy consultation boards, made up of representatives from a broad cross-section of stakeholders, which will guide the respective state’s plans for establishing new renewable energy zones.
The ACT’s Labor-Greens government, which was re-elected in October last year, outlined a $307 million plan in the recent ACT budget, to invest in new big batteries to be built within the ACT, and provide $150 million worth of zero interest loans to support Canberra households purchase solar, batteries or electric vehicles.
Funding was also committed towards the establishment of a new Office of the Coordinator General for Climate Action, to likewise provide advice on the ACT government’s climate change and emissions reduction policies.
Submissions to the inquiry can be made until 29 April 2021.