100% Renewable Energy by 2020!

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation is going before the Senate next week. This typically weak and inadequate legislation is offering us a target of less than 20% renewable electricity by 2020.

This is nowhere near what the climate science says is necessary to avoid runaway climate change and does not do enough to transition Australia to a zero emissions economy. It also misses the opportunity to create thousands of clean energy jobs in this country and make Australia a world leader in renewable energy technology – something we once were but are no longer thanks to the Howard and Rudd governments’ acquiescence to the big polluters.

Please email you federal representatives and make the demands outlined below. You can email them via the Your Voice in House website, just by filling in your state and postcode and ticking the boxes.

Please fix the RET by:

1. Increasing the target to 100% renewable electricity by 2020.

This is technically feasible, in particular with the introduction of baseload solar power which is already operating in both Spain and the USA. Solar thermal power with molten salt storage can provide baseload power at an affordable price with zero emissions and zero fuel inputs. Combined with wind power, and energy efficiency measures, we could power all of Australia with renewable energy.

If you haven’t heard of solar thermal with storage start by watching this short video.

This would also be in line with the need to go below 350 parts per million (probably closer to 300ppm) carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is well below the levels (390ppm) we have currently, and close to the 280ppm in pre-industrial times.

Imagine the jobs and the economic growth this would create! It would be a truly visionary project and show true leadership.

2. Excluding solar hot water from the scheme

Solar hot water does not put electricity back into the grid and should be excluded from the RET. It should be encouraged through other means, such as mandating that all new houses have solar hot water and launching a retrofit program to ensure all Australian houses have solar hot water by 2020.

3. Ensuring that all renewable energy accounted for is actually delivered.

The scheme currently gives five times the certificates to installed solar energy than what is actually produced. This means that even the measly 20% by 2020 target won’t really be met. It also means that bigger projects will be delayed as in the first few years most renewable energy certificates go to fake solar power.

To fix this, the year on year target must be increased to fit in with the number of fake certificates that have been issued.