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AU Greens Want More Renewables, Less Coal

Yesterday, the Green Party in Australia unveiled a policy that would, among other initiatives, direct AU $5 billion to loan guarantees for large-scale renewable energy projects. The policy also included an enhanced target for renewables uptake, a grant program and a feed-in tariff all designed to help spur the country towards 100% renewable energy.

"Australia can harness our tremendous resources of the sun, wind, ocean, earth and human ingenuity to replace our reliance on coal with 100% renewable energy within decades," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, when she unveiled the plan.

Milne stressed the necessity of a strong strategic plan to achieve the goal of getting the country off coal.  She explained how important loan guarantees are for renewable energy developers to build renewable energy projects for baseload power, “particularly in the context of the global financial crisis.”

According to the Greens website, the loan guarantee scheme would:

  • adopt the successful US Department of Energy model of providing 100% guarantee;
  • be open to emerging renewable energy technologies including baseload solar thermal with storage, geothermal, and ocean energy; and
  • be available for projects larger than 100MW at a single site.

The loan guarantees would be open for two years and be managed jointly by the Departments of Treasury and Finance; Resources, Tourism and Energy, and Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

The party said that the loan guarantees would work in conjunction with a nation FIT, which they say will help give investors the certainty they require to go forward with renewables projects.  Details of the FIT they envision were not disclosed.

"After the delays and mismanagement of the Solar Flagships program, this scheme is essential to get industrial scale renewable energy power stations off the ground as soon as possible,” said Milne.

More on the The Greens Party Renewable Energy initiatives can be found here.

 

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