Page 1376 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 3 May 2016

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A RET is set through disallowable instrument under the climate change legislation. On Monday, 2 May this instrument was made, setting the 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, and has been publicly notified. Setting a 100 per cent renewable energy target for 2020 triggers the amendment of the feed-in tariff act, which sets the maximum capacity of megawatts allowed to be released for procurement. To have the renewable energy built and operational by 2020, this amendment needs to be actioned immediately to award the grants in the final renewables reverse auction process. This process commenced on 1 April this year and will be closing shortly.

Increasing the overall megawatt cap in the feed-in tariff law from 550 to 650 megawatts and allowing a final capacity release of a further 91 megawatts ensures that the next generation renewables auction can procure these renewable energy projects this year. This takes advantage of the low costs that are currently available and which we have enjoyed to date in the renewable energy market and ensures that those projects and that energy are being produced by the year 2020.

The feed-in tariff act has so far procured 40 megawatts of solar and 400 megawatts of wind capacity under our innovative reverse auction system. We have received strong support for our process and we have seen record low prices achieved for ACT consumers. The next gen renewables auction this year is currently set to award 109 megawatts, with the additional 91 megawatts to be added to the auction process, making for a neat 200 megawatts.

Over the months following COP21 in Paris, the government received a number of representations from the community and broader stakeholders requesting that the government step up its zero emissions target. These submissions were taken into consideration as we progressed options for amending the climate change act’s principal target. I stand here today with the knowledge that there is strong public support for this legislative change. The original target of net zero emissions by 2060 will be amended by this bill to a 2050 target, eliminating the need for an interim target of 80 per cent emissions reduction by the year 2050.

By changing this target we are sending a strong signal to our community, to industry, to Australia and to the broader global community that, as a city, as a jurisdiction, we are serious about responding to the challenges of climate change. We are fast to react to international best practice and as a region we are serious in making the transition to a low carbon future. Together with aiming for 100 per cent renewable energy, the ACT is positioning itself as a global leader in climate change action and setting the standard for other states and regions to follow. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.

Nature Conservation Amendment Bill 2016

Mr Corbell, by leave, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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