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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . .

Page.. 3041..

and sticking with the status quo, because the status quo means a travel time of 55 minutes by the year 2030.


MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Minister, a few months ago you told the Assembly about the wind auction that was running at the time. Could you please give us an update on how it is progressing?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Back in April the government advised that it was commencing the process for a reverse auction to allocate feed-in tariff price support for 200 megawatts of wind energy for the ACT as part of its overall objective to achieve a 90 per cent renewable energy target by 2020. The auction closed at 4 pm on Wednesday, 3 September, and the government has been very pleased by the level of interest and the number of applications through that process. The government has received 18 proposals from 15 proponents. In total, that is more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy generation being bid into an auction that will provide feed-in tariff support for 200 megawatts worth of projects.

So this is a very encouraging outcome for the territory. What it means is that we see very strong competition and very strong interest from the private sector in developing wind energy projects for the ACT's energy supply. We know that wind is the most cost-effective of all of the renewable energy generation currently operating in the Australian electricity market, and therefore the government's strong focus on achieving a large amount of renewable energy generation from wind energy.

We anticipate concluding this process in the coming months and we are looking forward to seeing some great results for our city and for our region. We are focused not just on achieving low-cost renewables and large-scale generation; we are also focused on ensuring there are good economic outcomes and there are good social outcomes for our community.

So as part of that, through the auction process, we have specific criteria against which we will assess these proposals. That includes a weighting of 20 per cent being given to local community engagement and a further weighting of 20 per cent being given to the economic development benefits to the territory. Forty per cent just focused on those criteria. It really does emphasise the commitment this government is making to ensuring that we get jobs, investment and economic activity from these projects, good community engagement through the development of these projects as well as low-cost renewable energy for the ACT community.

We are very encouraged by the results to date and we expect that this will build on the very successful results we are now seeing from the territory's latest greenhouse gas inventory report, an inventory report which has confirmed that our greenhouse gas emissions are falling, according to the last audited year. They are down by 2½ per cent on the year before, and at the same time renewable energy use is up from 14 per cent to nearly 17 per cent, and that is without the large-scale renewable projects that this government has invested in kicking in in terms of greenhouse gas abatement.

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