Victoria’s energy efficiency industry has appealed to the state Coalition government not to weaken the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) Scheme, but instead to strengthen it, to ensure the realisation of its benefits and to support business and employment opportunities. Currently under review by Denis Napthine’s LNP government, the VEET Scheme is one of few state government initiatives to address the issues of peak power, rising energy costs and climate change. It is also credited with the creation of more than 4,000 Victorian jobs through the establishment of small-to-medium energy efficiency businesses.
“We are not sure the government has got the message that the VEET Scheme has been responsible for business growth and job generation,” said Bruce Easton, President of Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association (EECCA), in a statement on Monday. “When the Government sets the VEET target, it also creates the market – the demand for energy efficiency activities. Therefore the level of the target has a corresponding impact on the VEET businesses operating within the Scheme, which obviously impacts on the number of jobs generated through the Scheme. We are concerned there may be a lowering of the target from previous years.”
Easton stressed there was more work to be done through theVEET Scheme, particularly to achieve higher levels of energy savings to Victorian businesses over the next three years. “This represents a real area of job opportunity particularly for skilled technicians moving out of the manufacturing sector,” he said. With the right targets, Easton said he expected to see new job opportunities in areas including commercial lighting, efficient refrigeration and air-conditioning, and others that would improve the efficiency of business and help bring down energy costs. “It’s a win-win,” he said. “It’s providing real benefits for businesses and providing potential jobs people transitioning from other sectors.”
Big business for Algae.Tec
ASX-listed advanced algae company Algae.Tec Ltd has received a $2.4 million purchase order, for the supply of production technology and associated technical expertise, from an affiliate of Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL). The order follows on from arrangements between the two companies, announced on January 21, which Algae.Tec described, then, as the backing it needed to fund and launch its Global Biofuels Division
The agreement between RIIHL – part of the Reliance Group, India’s largest private sector enterprise – and Algae.Tec also broached conditions for future commercial algae plants, following the successful completion of the pilot plant. The agreement details the issue of $1.5 million worth of shares and $5 million five-year options to RIIHL. The shares were issued immediately, with RIIHL set to make additional investments by exercise of $1.2 million of options over the next two years. The work and equipment ordered under this week’s purchase order is expected to be supplied and completed over approximately the next nine months.
Carbon credit when due
Environmental markets and project development consultancy GreenCollar Group has announced the issuance of the first ever Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUS) for a Native Forest Protection project on a Western Lands lease. The issuance is the result of three years collaboration between GreenCollar and landholders in Western NSW to develop forestry projects under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI). GreenCollar Group is working with the landholders to manage over 50,000 hectares of native forest for carbon, as well as for grazing and cropping. The ACCUs generated from these projects will be sold to companies with liabilities under the Carbon Pricing Mechanism as well as the Governments new Emission Reduction Fund.