Transitioning successfully to a clean energy economy requires good government policy. With the upcoming state election, what are the major parties’ policies on this important pillar of our future?
While federal Labor have a commitment to 50% renewable energy by 2030 and a commitment to limit global warming by less than 2°C; WA Labour has no intention of having a state renewable energy target. Labor does however have intentions for the coal mining town of Collie to have a renewable energy industry and Albany to become powered 100% by renewable wind, solar and wave power.
Their focus is encouraging research programs into renewable energy and battery technology and the development of off-the-grid solution trials for greenfield developments around the State.
State Liberals have stated a general desire to contribute to the federal government’s 23% renewable energy target by 2020, but like State Labor but not to a state based renewable energy target.
The Liberal’s support for solar energy is recognising the increasing importance that distributed renewable energy will play in ensuring our energy systems of the future are reliable, secure and affordable. A re-elected Liberal Government will introduce Commercial Business solar PV incentives. This package will be implemented in two stages: $20 million will be initially provided to commence the program from July 2017. This scheme will be capped at 50MW (which is approximately 500 systems) or run for three years.
The Green Party have outlined a plan to use 100% renewable energy by 2030 in WA. The plan outlines that it is cheaper to start transitioning for this target now than it is to continue with business as usual with the addition of a carbon tax.
The Next Government
Regardless of who wins the election the next government will have to deal with a transition in the energy market – we all win if they adopt a strong and progressive leadership position so that the state’s economy, businesses and households are the beneficiaries.