Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2314 ..
renewable energy precinct and test berth facilities, the strategy brings together a range of existing government renewable energy initiatives to accelerate the development of a renewable energy industry in the territory.
The strategy will benefit the ACT by attracting further renewable energy businesses to Canberra, linking research and training with industry groups and supporting the development of new and emerging ACT-based ventures. Twenty-five organisations with substantial international reach have already signed up as inaugural partners to the strategy, including General Electric, the ANU Energy Change Institute, Australian Capital Ventures, Siemens, Windlab and Vestas, amongst others.
The ACT’s first wind auction, of course, broke national records in terms of low-cost renewable energy, with prices as low as 8c a kilowatt hour. This compares to current residential retail electricity prices of around 18c. As a result of the low prices achieved, the government has revised down the costs of achieving our 90 per cent renewable energy target by nearly 20 per cent from original estimates. Not only will these costs decline over time but the benefits of growing a vibrant, export-oriented local renewable energy industry will provide benefits that will grow for a generation.
Canberra’s investment in renewable energy is returning substantial economic benefits to the territory. The ACT renewable energy auctions, together with our renewable energy industry development strategy, are stimulating over a $1 billion of renewable energy infrastructure development, attracting large international businesses to the ACT and creating jobs that further diversify and strengthen the ACT economy.
In conclusion, it is time that our national government stopped attacking renewable energy and took a look at what is happening in the national capital. It is a shining example of what you can achieve by embracing a cleaner energy future. I thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for bringing this motion to the Assembly today.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (12.06): I will speak to Ms Lawder’s amendment, which seeks to relitigate a number of arguments made by her federal Liberal colleagues. The first is that the directive to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is about making sure there is a focus on emerging technologies and that somehow everything is all right with the directive because of that. Of course, that amendment reflects the fundamental misunderstanding those opposite and those in the federal government have about the role and the purpose of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The corporation was set up to provide finance to mature renewable energy technologies and to pull forward investment and assist with investment in those technologies and in those projects, including educating the traditional finance sector on how those technologies should be financed and the return able to be achieved. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was not set up to invest in emerging, experimental technologies. That is the role of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, ARENA. For that reason ARENA provides grants of funds to invest in the development of emerging technologies. It has hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars available to deliver such grants.