Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2277 ..
Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.
Bill, as amended, agreed to.
Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable Electricity Target) Amendment Bill 2019
Debate resumed from 16 May 2019, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.17): The Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable Electricity Target) Amendment Bill 2019 seeks to extend the ACT's ambitious target of 100 per cent renewable electricity beyond 2020. In doing so, the government is building on its efforts in the renewable energy space thus far. The ACT is currently on track to be 100 per cent renewable energy by the end of this year as the third stage of the Hornsdale wind farm comes online in October.
The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill today as we recognise that the ACT is already on its way to achieving 100 per cent by 2020. We do, however, want to ensure that our electricity supply is also reliable, affordable, and that we ultimately meet our targets going forward. A question that many in Canberra have asked is: what is the government doing after 2020? I am pleased that the government is responding to the concerns of residents. It is excellent that we have come together to discuss this issue today, and I know that many Canberrans will be pleased.
The bill seeks to solidify the ongoing 100 per cent renewable electricity target by moving the commitment into primary legislation. The target is currently a disallowable instrument set by the minister. This is welcome, as the government's emissions reduction target is already in legislation. Given renewable electricity and emissions reduction are inherently linked, it is good to see this link reflected in legislation.
The ACT has a commendable record in energy use. A report on electricity and natural gas consumption trends in the ACT for 2009-13 showed that, once weather factors had been accounted for, there had been a strong and consistent trend of decline in per capita aggregate electricity and gas consumption since 2009. The report went on to say that this was possibly due to building energy efficiency regulations and tighter appliance energy efficiency standards. There was also strong evidence of widespread energy efficiency improvements by households and small businesses. These have all contributed to making the 100 per cent target easier to achieve.
However, it does seem unlikely that the ACT will ever have the capacity to generate that amount of electricity within the ACT itself. I note the legislation clarifies that the electricity does not need to be located in the ACT but does need to connect to the ACT's local electricity network via the national electricity market. I think that is a sensible inclusion and removes any ambiguity in the minds of Canberrans. While our