Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Carbon leadership

Summaries - Australian Financial Review
7 January 2011, Page: 47

The important conclusion that can be drawn from The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering report on low carbon energy technology and Robin Batterham's elusive power panacea article (January 5) is that a rising carbon price alone will not stimulate investment in zero-carbon baseload energy alternatives such as concentrating solar thermal. Such industry requires support to grow in the short to medium term.

Direct government incentives such as investment tax credits or a feed-in tariff would be more effective than a blanket carbon price which is only useful when technologies are mature. Will the government show leadership or will we be left behind by the clean energy boom?

Patrick Hearps is a research fellow at the Melbourne Energy institute, University of Melbourne.