Author Archive: roman

Federal Energy White Paper stuck in the past

Giles Parkinson, from RenewEconomy, notes some details from the Federal White paper on Energy:

The energy white paper begins with a false assumption. That “Australia’s large quantities of traditional energy resources provide low-cost, predictable and reliable power for Australia and the world.”

The energy white paper’s assumptions are based on the International Energy Agency’s “new policies” scenario, which sets the scene for what would be a catastrophic rise in temperatures to an average 4C.

More details in Parkinson’s full article.

Aside from the extraordinary bias towards fossil fuels, there are some pointers as to the government thinking (my italics):

  • it will not pursue policies to “pay” for exit of surplus generation capacity. This has left Australia with vast amounts of surplus capacity, which in turn has been used to argue against new renewable energy.
  • It will be keeping an open mind on nuclear energy. Interestingly, it says it recognises the argument that nuclear is a costly alternative to renewables, uses lots of water and has waste disposal issues. But it also says other argue that it is “adequate” affordable and reliable, and has significant environmental benefits and public health advantages over other existing base load technologies. It says it will consider the outcomes of the South Australian Royal Commission, including its use as an energy source.
  • The government still believes that carbon capture and storage may be a solution, and wants more funds to be spent.

The middle point suggests there’s a need for a strong FoE campaign to counter the flood of pro-nuclear propaganda generated by the existence of the Royal Commission. We’re looking at seconding Jim Green to work on the issue, and perhaps employing a part-time campaigner.Read more >>

Environment groups send open letter to PM: Protect the RET

The federal government continues to try and destroy the renewable Energy Target. So far the ALP has refused to do a deal to reduce the current RET, and the Greens firmly oppose any deal. It’s vital that the community remind the PM that there is overwhelming support for renewable energy, and that most people want more, not less renewables. Recent polling on the RET shows that more than 88% of Australians would like to see the Renewable Energy Target either increase or remain at the current level of 41,000 GWh.

This morning we have joined with 22 other groups to urge the PM to keep the RET at the current target of 41,000 Gwh. Check here for the letter.

Please add your voice

1/ Please cut and paste the letter below to the Prime Minister (please feel free to personalise it and add extra information) and send it to the PM via his website.

2/ Post it on the PM’s facebook page

3/ Send him a message by Twitter. Eg:

PM @TonyAbbottMHR I support renewable energy for climate action, jobs, investment. No cut to the Renewable Energy target… Read more >>

An Open letter to the PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 3.09.17 pmDear Prime Minister                                                                                                   24  March 2015

We are a diverse group of leading organisations who represent a broad cross section of people in Australia.

We, and millions of Australians, believe that powering our nation with renewable energy is common sense.

We call on you to honour your government’s pre-election commitment to keep the 2020 Renewable Energy Target at the level currently legislated, including the Large Scale Renewable Energy Target of 41,000 Gwh.

To re-instate business, investor and household confidence, we would welcome clear commitments beyond 2020 to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy.

Showing leadership on the Renewable Energy Target will be a win for jobs, for households, for our health, our economy, and our environment.

The 2020 Renewable Energy Target has strong public support. More than 88%* of Australians would like to see the Renewable Energy Target either increase or remain at the current level of 41,000 GWh. With 84% of people indicating it is important the Federal Government invest in renewable energy. Australians think it’s smart to invest in renewable energy instead of dirty coal. The Renewable Energy Target is also enabling more and more people to take control of generating their own power and managing their bills. Solar homes have grown from the hundreds to the millions in less than a decade.

The Renewable Energy Target creates sustainable jobs. The Renewable Energy Target has generated more than 24,000 jobs, and is forecast to generate tens of thousands more. People working in the 1000s of small Australian businesses installing solar panels, as well as larger businesses building and maintaining wind turbines, solar and biomass plants are at risk. Sadly, renewable energy companies have already had to lay off staff due to the government’s plans to cut the Renewable Energy Target. Maintaining and growing the Renewable Energy Target provides a solid foundation for new sustainable jobs in Australia.



Our last FoE Notes was inadvertantly a repeat of the previous issue. For those of you who suffered an unintended feeling of deja vu, our apologies. We shall take steps to try and prevent a recurrence. Still wrangling the new technology, after all.

This issue has a few items about trade deals and La Via Campasina. While perusing the draft terms of reference for the Nuclear Royal Commission, some questions occurred to us about the cost and nature of “next gen” nuclear reactors. We found a few articles which tackled these issues, so we though we’d draw them to your attention, as well.

Please feel free to pass this on to any friends who may be interested. They can subscribe, if they wish,  using the form at bottom left on our website’s home page.


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