Page 162 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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MR CORBELL: It means—and I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary—locking in large-scale renewable energy at a cheap price for consumers for the next 20 years. The net price per kilowatt hour is 5c, averaged across all of these wind farm developments. The maximum pass-through cost, anticipated to peak in the year 2020, is $1.79 per household per week as part of the overall $4.67 per household per week in 2020 to achieve the 90 per cent renewable energy target overall.

Of course, we all know that these costs are more than offset by the savings of around $4.50 to $5 per household per week through the mandated pass-through of energy efficiency measures under the government’s energy efficiency improvement scheme and the savings measures being delivered by electricity companies like ActewAGL. So this really does highlight the benefits of locking in cheap prices for consumers into the long run. Renewable energy is now cheaper than electricity from new-built coal or gas plants and, as we make the shift to a low carbon future, we must draw on these very competitive forms of energy generation.

They are the outcomes we have been able to achieve. They achieve reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions of over half a million tonnes each and every year, a total of 12 million tonnes over the next 20 years—a combined 33 per cent of our electricity supply from renewable energy generation just from these three projects. And I recall those opposite saying that this was not possible, that it would never be achieved, and that we would have to cover the ACT in solar farms to make it happen. That is clearly not the case. This government is showing leadership on how to make the shift to a low carbon future.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what other benefits will there be for Canberra?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. As part of the government’s auction process, we have said to all bidders that they must demonstrate how they are going to invest in our economy—how they are going to create jobs, support innovation and support growth in the ACT economy. That is particularly the case if the proposed generators are outside our immediate region, which these three generators are.

I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that the three companies, in terms of their direct investment into the ACT economy, have committed to a range of investments worth $50 million. The broader economic benefits are over $240 million across the next 20 years of these feed-in tariff entitlements. That includes investment in our research institutions; investment in the ANU for the creation of Australia’s first masters in wind energy development; and investment in the Canberra Institute of Technology—a massive $7 million investment in the Canberra Institute of Technology from the private sector to establish a centre of excellence in renewable energy skills training and development. That is an outstanding opportunity for our CIT.

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