Thursday 24 July 2008

Energetic player powering up WA

Mining Chronicle
June, 2008 Page: 97

Griffin Energy is a rising star in Western Australia, committed to achieving a secure and environmentally-efficient power supply for the state. The Perth-headquartered diversified power supplier has built its business around the use of innovative technologies to achieve a competitive, reliable and sustainable supply of energy for WA while being secure and environmentally aware.

Griffin Energy specialises in the production, generation and sale of energy. Making use of cutting-edge power generation processes, the company's projects throughout WA are delivering direct power supply solutions in the state. Griffin Energy offers a reliable, competitive and sustainable energy supply for businesses connected to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) which use over 50 megawatts per hour of electricity a year.

Griffin Energy's practices embody the future of energy generation technology. Besides the coal-fired Bluewaters Power Station, Griffin Energy's other significant project is the Emu Downs Wind Farm near Cervantes. Some of the company's proposed projects include the Badgingarra Wind Farm, the North Peak Power Station and, most recently, a joint venture deal with Ocean Power Technologies for the development, construction and operation of a wave power station off the coast of WA.

The proposed Badgingarra Wind Farm is adjacent to Emu Downs and marks the second renewable energy collaboration between Stanwell and Griffin Energy. This facility is expected to come on line in late 2010 and will produce up to 130MW of renewable energy a year - the equivalent of the power required for more than 80,000 homes and saving around 455,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum.

Badgingarra will help the Federal Government meet its renewable energy target of 20 per cent by 2020. North Peak Power Station The proposed North Peak Power Station will be a modern and efficient electricity generation facility geared to help meet peak demands on the Perth power grid and improve the overall efficiency of the SWIS. The power station will have two open-cycle gas turbines, capable of generating up to 330MW of electricity.

Griffin Energy has chosen open-cycle gas turbines for this project as this is a proven, modern and efficient technology that allows quick response to short-term changes in power demand, such as on the hottest and coldest days of the year. North Peak is in the early stages of planning, with the preferred location yet to be confirmed. Wave power station Last month Griffin Energy inked a joint development agreement with international expert Ocean Power Technologies to build a wave power station capable of producing 10MW but with the potential for 100MW.

It would use OPT's technology, which uses bobbing floats on buoys to generate power. To generate 10MW, enough to power 10,000 homes, 40 buoys would be placed over 10ha about 5km offshore in water 50-60m deep. The energy produced would be fed into WA's main power grid. Griffin Energy's executive general manager, Wayne Trumble, says this project is part of the company's vision of delivering a balanced energy supply to WA.

"The WA Government has already announced it intends to implement a renewable energy target of 15 per cent by 2020, including powering key infrastructure such as the new Binningup desalination plant," Mr Trumble says.

"Our proposed joint-venture wave power project will put us at the forefront of a new horizon in renewable energy development and we look forward to working with government and OPT to realise our vision." Emu Downs Wind Farm Emu Downs is a wind energy generating facility with the capacity to produce 80 megawatts a year - the equivalent of that needed for 50,000 homes a year and displacing 280,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

This wind farm embodies the future of energy generation technology and is one of WA's largest green energy initiatives. Australia's fourth-largest wind farm, Emu Downs Wind Farm is a $180 million joint venture between Griffin Energy and Queensland's Stanwell Corporation. It has been in operation since late 2006, delivering clean, green energy to WA. About 200km north of Perth, the facility uses wind-powered turbine technology and optimises its coastal location.

Engineered to world-class design and incorporating local resources and equipment including blades that were a first of their kind for manufacturing in Australia, Emu Downs is providing a sustainable solution for WA's energy needs. The electricity from the wind farm is purchased by Synergy Energy and onsold to its customers, including the state's largest seawater desalination facility owned and operated by the Water Corporation. In acknowledgment of its innovation and community involvement, Emu Downs Wind Farm was a finalist in the WA Environmental Awards in

Wind to power desalination plant

Mining Chronicle
June, 2008 Page: 88

The New South Wales Government has agreed to a 20-year energy supply deal to ensure wind turbines will power Sydney's desalination plant. Premier Morris Iemma says the deal will link Sydney Water to the Babcock and Brown-backed Capital Wind Farm being built at Bungendore, near Queanbeyan in southern NSW.

This will be Australia's biggest accredited renewable energy contract." The contract requires Sydney Water to purchase a minimum 180,000 Renewable Energy Certificates annually for 20 years. Each REC represents one megawatt hour of green electricity, which will be used to power the desalination plant.

When the state's dams are full and the desalination plant is not in use, Sydney Water can on-sell its RECs for a possible profit. The electricity will be purchased at a set price, adjusted for CPI, over the 20 years. The desalination plant is under construction at Kurnell, in Sydney's south, and is intended to supply up to 250 million litres of drinking water a year from the summer of 2009-2010.

Co-generation benefits

Border Tweed Mail
Thursday 26/6/2008 Page: 38

THE co-generation plant at Condong is one of two built by New South Wales Sugar Milling Co-operative and Delta Energy. The 30 megawatt plants will operate under a joint venture, Sunshine Electricity, which was formed to construct and run the projects. The plants will be fuelled primarily by sugar cane material and will operate as power stations owned by Sunshine Electricity within mills owned by the Co-operative.

The project is Australia's largest baseload renewable electricity generation project and will make a substantial contribution to Australia's greenhouse commitments. An additional major environmental benefit of the project will be the move to green cane harvesting, avoiding the need for systematic pre and post harvesting cane burning. Small percentages of cane can still be burnt by growers as a farm management tool.

The co-generation project involves Downer Energy Systems and Clyde Babcock-Hitachi (in consortium) as the major contractor. Country Energy has provided a 66KV switching station at Condong, while Tweed Shire Council has supplied tertiary treated effluent as the main water supply for cooling at Condong. The bagasse, cane trash and wood waste fuels to be used by Sunshine Electricity are categorised as eligible fuels under the Renewable Electricity Act.

Each renewable energy plant will generate enough electricity for half the residents of its district or the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road. The New South Wales Sugar Milling Co-operative produces about five percent of the national sugar crop, has about 600 members and more than 400 staff at three mills. Each mill has been upgraded as part of the energy generation project. Delta Energy produces about 12 percent of the electricity needed by consumers on Australia's eastern seaboard.

More information is available from or

Solar town to power thy neighbour

Border Tweed Mail
Thursday 26/6/2008 Page: 20

THE biggest roll-out of solar power systems in Australia's history has begun in Mullumbimby. Byron Bay - based company Beyond Building Energy has been flooded with orders since introducing their "solar neighbourhoods" program last year. The program works by getting a minimum of 50 houses in an area to sign up to solar, allowing the company to achieve much-greater economies of scale and reduce delivery and installation costs.

Australia has about 4000 houses installed with grid-interactive solar systems. Beyond Building Energy have more than 2000 houses signed up to its program, mostly around the NSW North Coast, but also in Melbourne and other parts of Australia. "We are able to buy container loads, rather than boxes of solar panels the same with inverters," said Mark Hickey, the company's technical and installation manager.

"The business model is based on high turnover and small margins. Traditionally, installers had low installation rates and high margins and might only do one per week. But we're doing 10 houses a week per team." Taking advantage of the Federal Government's $8000 rebate for solar power, the company had an introductory rate of $500 per installation for a 1000 watt system.

The price rose to $895 in February, but by way of comparison, other solar installers are offering similar systems for around $4700. More than 100 houses in Mullumbimby have signed up to the program, with installation of another 100 due to start in the village of Federal shortly.

From there, the company has solar neighbourhoods lined up in Goonengerry/ Rosebank, Bangalow, Lennox Head, Main Arm/The Pocket, Ocean Shores, Tyagarah/Myocum and Wilson's Creek. Mr Hickey said the grid interactive system was the equivalent of "spinning your electricity metre backwards."

"We actually use digital metres which record the input and output of energy. Your power company then pays you at the same rate as the electricity you use." He said the average house would save about one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions and $220 a year in electricity costs.

Solar feed-in scheme starts in SA today

AAP Newswire
Tuesday 1/7/2008

South Australia's solar feed-in scheme kicks in today.... paying people double the going rate for excess solar power they feed back into the electricity grid. Premier Mike Rann says solar households could earn up to 400 dollars a year. Mr RANN says South Australia has about 40 per cent of Australia's grid connected solar panels..... and five times the number of household installations as the next highest state. The premier has also welcomed today's start of a single national reporting system for energy and greenhouse gas emissions... with companies obliged for the first time to report on their greenhouse gas emissions.

B&B selling wind, but a buyer too

Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 2/7/2008 Page: 27

Babcock and Brown's dedicated wind power fund, BBW, yesterday snapped up another four wind farms in Germany, just as it is preparing to offload its entire European energy business to help boost its value. The latest purchases are part of a long-running deal BBW has with one of its two major wind farm developers. The fund emphasised yesterday that the arrangement allowed it to buy the new assets at lower prices than they would normally fetch.

BBW has put its existing portfolio of wind farms up for sale in a move to try to underpin its market capitalisation on the sharemarket - which is currently significantly lower than the value of the assets on its books. Some of the renewable energy facilities are co-owned by the parent, Babcock and Brown, which is hoping the forthcoming disposals will eventually have the same effect on its share price as it does on its BBW offshoot.

Both companies have been hit hard by the impact of the global credit crisis on their respective debt positions, with B&B having just this week eased the pressure on its share price by negotiating a more relaxed loan agreement with its banking syndicate. Under the deal the group's 25 banks removed a sharemarket valuation trigger as part of a refinancing of a $2.8 billion debt facility. Previously the banks could review the loan terms if B&B's stock fell below $7.50 a share or its sharemarket capitalisation fell below $2.5 billion - a point reached three weeks ago.

In return, B&B will pay higher interest and reduce its borrowing needs to $2.4 billion, as well as raising $400 million from asset sales. Much of that money will come from the wind farms, which constitute a significant part of BBW's European business.

The current sale program would see BBW exit what has been one of three key geographical areas for the fund: the US, Australia and continental Europe. But it still has wind farms coming through in Germany from developers Gamesa and Plainbeck under supply arrangements signed over the past three years, which will allow BBW to rebuild a large chunk of its European operations at one stroke.

Yesterday's deal saw BBW take on for an undisclosed sum nearly 20 megawatts of wind farms at Coswig, Eschweiler, Sonnenberg and Calau. BBW said it had funded the four purchases from existing financial resources. BBW's share price rose lc to $1.66 on the news, while the parent dropped 28c to $7.22, with some investors selling out on the rally that followed Monday's announcement of the new banking terms.

Keep ecology at the forefront

Canberra Times
Wednesday 2/7/2008 Page: 13

The Kyoto Protocol is broken, but there is another way, George Monbiot says.

Almost everyone seems to agree: governments now face a choice between saving the planet and saving the economy. As recession looms, the political pressure to abandon green policies intensifies.

A report published by Ernst & Young suggests the European Union's puny carbon target will raise energy bills by 20 per cent over the next 12 years. Last week, advisers to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted his renewable energy plans were "on the margins" of what people will tolerate.

But these fears are based on a false assumption: that there is a cheap alternative to a green economy. New Scientist has reported a survey of oil industry experts, which found most of them believe global oil supplies will peak by 2010. If they are right, the game is tip. A report published by the United States department of energy in 2005 argued that unless the world began a crash program of replacements 10 or 20 years before oil peaks, a crisis "unlike any yet faced by modern industrial society" was unavoidable.

If the world is sliding into recession, it's partly because governments believed they could choose between economy and ecology. The price of oil is so high and it hurts so much because there has been no serious effort to reduce our dependency. On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri suggested an impending recession could force its to confront the flaws in the global economy. Sadly it seems to have had the opposite effect: a recent Ipsos Mori poll suggests that people are losing interest in climate change. Opportunities for energy populism abound.

Two things are obvious. We need a global system, and the current one, the Kyoto Protocol, is bust. It sets no cap on global carbon pollution, its targets bear no relation to current science and are unenforceable anyway, it contains loopholes and get-out clauses wide enough to sail an oil tanker through. Until recently I supported an alternative system called contraction and convergence. Every country, this system proposes, should end tip with the same quota of carbon dioxide per person. The richest countries must produce much less than they do today; the poorest ones could pollute more.

But, after reading the proofs of a book by the independent thinker Oliver Tickell, to be published next month, I have changed my view. In Kyoto 2: How to Manage the Global Greenhouse, Tickell slaughters my favourite ideas. He shows there is no logical basis for dividing up the right to pollute among nation states. It gives them too much power over this commodity, and there is no guarantee that they would pass the pollution rights on to their citizens, or use the money they raised to green the economy. Carbon rationing, he argues, requires a level of economic literacy that's far from universal in the most advanced economies.

Instead, Tickell proposes setting a global limit for carbon pollution then selling permits to pollute to companies extracting or refining fossil fuels. This has the advantage of regulating a few thousand corporations rather than a few billion citizens. These firms would buy their permits in a global auction, run by a coalition of the world's central banks. There's a reserve price, to ensure that the cost of carbon doesn't fall too low, and a ceiling price to ensure the cost doesn't cripple the global economy.

In this case companies would be borrowing permits from the future. But because the money raised would be invested in renewables, the demand for fossil fuels would tall, so fewer permits would need to be issued in later years. Tickell calculates if the cap were set low enough to ensure the world became carbon neutral by 2050, the total cost of permits would be about $US1 trillion ($A1.04 trillion) a year, or roughly 1.5 per cent of the global economy. The money would be spent on helping the poor to adapt to climate change, paying countries to protect forests and other ecosystems, developing low-carbon farming, promoting energy efficiency and building renewable power plants.

But his figure seems too low. Like many of the world's climate scientists, Tickell proposes the concentration of greenhouse gases should eventually be stabilised at 350 parts per million (carbon dioxide equivalent) in the atmosphere, and his calculations are based on this target. If the price of the carbon permits sold at auction were much higher than Tickell suggests, the extra money could be used for massive tax rebates and social spending, aimed especially at the poor. But could the world afford it? This money doesn't disappear, it gets spent.

Tickell's proposal could represent a classic Keynesian solution to economic crisis. The money the system would cost is used to kick-start a green industrial revolution, a new New Deal not that different from the original one (whose most successful component was Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps, which protected forests and farmland). This would not be the first time that business was rescued by the treasures it most stoutly resists: there's a long history of corporate lobbying against the kind of government spending that eventually saves the corporate economy. For now we have to find a means of saving its from ourselves.

Babcock buys wind farms in Germany

Wednesday 2/7/2008 Page: 29

Babcock and Brown Wind Partners has acquired four wind farms in Germany even as it continues a review that may see it sell other European wind assets. The Australian renewable energy company did not disclose the acquisition price, but said yesterday that the four farms with a combined capacity of 19.6 megawatts would be purchased using existing resources.

Babcock and Brown Wind was obliged under pre-existing agreements struck with two European developers over the past few years to purchase the wind farms as they became available, chief financial officer Gerard Dover said. "The thing to highlight is the pricing on those transactions was fixed at the time the contracts were signed," he said.

"Those that follow the wind industry would be aware of how much wind farm prices, and wind turbine prices particularly, have gone up over the course of that period." The announcement of the purchases which pushed Babcock and Brown Wind securities up 1.5c to close at $1.66 in a market down 1.5 per cent comes after the fund's embattled manager (and around 12 per cent owner) Babcock and Brown on Monday won a reprieve from its lenders.

They removed a market capitalisation clause attached to its debt facility and waived their right to review its ability to repay $2.8 billion in loans. Analysts remain divided on whether Babcock and Brown will meet its annual earnings guidance, with the most optimistic predicting it will just scrape over the line. Babcock and Brown Wind is considering a sale of some of its European wind assets as a means of demonstrating the value of its assets and thereby shoring up the discount at which the stock is trading to its international peers.

Merrill Lynch believes B&B will reap $550 million from the planned sale of wind power assets, which would be enough to pay down the debt and post a $752 million profit. "However, B&B faces a long road to restore investor confidence in its business model, management team and fund offerings," Merrill said. Consequently, the brokerage kept its "neutral" rating on the stock.

UBS also kept a "neutral" rating on the stock with a 12-month price target of $6.80. It thinks B&B will meet its guidance with a $753 million profit. UBS said an investment in B&B was "high risk" noting that a reduction in gearing and brand damage could reduce B&B's ability to sustain past revenue generation.

Credit Suisse kept an "outperform" rating on the stock with a 12-month price target of $12. But it predicting a 2008 profit of $697 million well below B&B's $750 million guidance. Citigroup kept a "hold" rating on B&B with a 12-month price target $9.50 and forecast even lower earnings of $668 million.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Winds Of Change

Wednesday 2/7/2008 Page: 19

AS A child growing up in Denmark, Per Bernard watched with interest when the flower farmer across the road erected a giant windmill. "He just got sick of the electricity bills so he installed a wind turbine and everybody thought it was fantastic. He paid back his bank loan in five years, as well as providing all the electricity for heating his greenhouses."

So when a 21-turbine wind farm was proposed near his adopted home of Daylesford in 2004, Bernard was all for the idea. "A group of us went to the public meeting," he says. "We love renewable energy and we were really excited. It was the biggest turnout in the little town of Dean for many, many years." But this bunch of committed renewable-energy lovers was in for a shock. "We witnessed a lot of anger, a lot of fear.

The entire community was just dead against it," says Bernard. "They felt they would be taken over by a big company, with no benefit for the local community, and they were saying no." In the face of vehement objections, Wind Power, the developer behind the proposal, abandoned the project. But Bernard and his cohorts were not prepared to give up. Bernard could point to how the Danes had embraced wind power - 20% of Denmark's electricity is generated by wind. Unlike in Australia, he says, wind power there is driven by communities.

Bernard and his colleagues approached Wind Power and asked if there was any way they could work together. Wind Power did not see a future for its project, but suggested they contact renewable-energy consultant David Shapero, whose company Future Energy immediately came on board as a project partner. It was evident the large-scale corporate owned model was unpalatable to locals, but they hoped a small community-owned one could find support.

Vigorous community consultation began. While Future Energy considered the site and technical requirements, a small core of local volunteers held street stalls, distributed questionnaires, held public meetings and knocked on doors.

Simon Holmes a Court, who owns a property in Daylesford, first heard about the project at a street stall. "I've been interested in renewable energy for quite a while. My house is off-grid, with solar power," he says. Holmes a Court - son of Janet - "went along to a few meetings, was interested and excited by the project" and is now chair of Hepburn Wind, the co-operative that owns the wind farm.

The focus at first was on educating, getting feedback and talking about the idea. Bernard recalls encountering all kinds of reactions. "I met one person who was an electrician. He thought wind turbines were rubbish, noisy, a bad idea. He wanted to know, 'Where are you going to put them all?' When I told him just two turbines would power the equivalent of the whole of Daylesford and Hepburn, it took him a few moments to accept that information. When he finally accepted it, he got angry; angry with the Government.

He said: If it is really that simple, why hasn't it been done before?"' Local enthusiasm for the project grew quickly. "The best thing we ever did was put on free bus tours," Shapero says. "We advertised in the local paper and took groups of about 40 people to Challicum Hills Wind Farm near Ararat, which has 35 turbines.

"We would park about 15 metres from the turbines and simply let people go, let them walk around and stand underneath them, have their picnic lunch. People were expecting noise and dead birds, but being around turbines is actually very calming. It was amazing to see the attitudes change. People were so excited we couldn't get them back on the bus." The patient and open-minded approach the group had adopted was gaining rewards and by the time the planning application was submitted, there were 350 written submissions in support. But there were also 18 objections, which meant the matter had to be contested at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

VCAT reviewed the case rigorously and found in its favour. It seems the benefits of wind power are too numerous to ignore. As Holmes a Court puts it: "It's a real triumph that we've found an energy source that has such a low impact on the environment." Hepburn Wind is now open to investors and expects its turbines will be in the ground sometime during 2009. Ownership is structured to prevent a takeover by a large corporation.

About half the investors will be local residents interested in supporting a secure and clean local energy supply. The State Government has pledged close to $1 million, and other investors and a bank loan will cover the project's total cost of $9 million. "We want this to be the first of many," says Holmes a Court.

"Everything we're doing is being well documented with the aim of producing materials that will allow other people to follow in our footsteps." And already it seems they are. The group has been inundated with requests from community groups wanting to set up their own renewable energy source. As Shapero says: "The level of interest now is unbelievable."

Links: (Hepburn renewable energy association)

Brown coal powers ahead - State to get $750 million plant

Wednesday 2/7/2008 Page: 1

ONLY two days before Professor Ross Garnaut hands down his draft report designed to steer investment towards renewable energy, the Victorian Government will today announce the go-ahead for a $750 million brown coal power station. Energy Minister Peter Batchelor has signed off on the plant, to be built near the Loy Yang B power station in the Latrobe Valley. It is designed to contribute 400 megawatts to Victoria's capacity of about 8500 megawatts.

The project, a joint venture between Australian coal technology specialist HRL and Chinese power giant Harbin Power, has received $150 million in government funding. But Mr Batchelor has refused to reveal how much would be paid back to the state, saying the figure was "commercial in confidence." The plant is not expected to start operating until 2012-13. It was initially planned to be ready next year.

The State Government's green light has provoked anger from environmental groups, which have labelled the move "complete madness" that could compromise Victoria's target of reducing its emissions by 60% by 2050. On Friday, Professor Garnaut, the Federal Government's climate change adviser, will release his draft report on the economic impact of climate change on Australia.

The report, a precursor to his final assessment in September, which will provide recommendations for government, will set a clear policy direction for Australia to combat climate change, including ways to shift away from its reliance on "dirty" brown coal generators. Mr Batchelor said HRL's power station would be less emissions-intensive and use less water than conventional coal-fired power stations.

"The project uses a technique called integrated coal drying and gasification, which can reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from brown coal-fired power generation by 30%, and reduce water consumption by 50% compared to current best practice for brown coal power generation in the Latrobe Valley," he said.

But after those reductions, emissions will still be about as high as those generated by black coal. Mr Batchelor's spokesman said figures on how much carbon the plant would emit were not available. Environment Victoria chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy attacked the decision, saying a moratorium should be placed on so-called "clean coal" until the technology was proven.

"What's worse is that the investment that has gone into this could have gone into energy efficiency and renewables, which would reduce CO2, emissions as well as saving households and businesses money," she said. "If these coal-drying technologies are really believed in, then they should be retrofitted onto the existing power stations to reduce their emissions, not creating new power plants." Greenpeace energy campaigner Simon Roz said the move was a backwards step for Victoria.

"It seems that in this current day that it would be complete madness that any government would invest in coal-fired power," he said. "It shows we have a long way to go before governments take the issue of climate change seriously and grapple with the magnitude of the sorts of deep cuts in emissions we have to make."


Solar cell base for Adelaide

Adelaide Advertiser
Wednesday 2/7/2008 Page: 55

GERMAN solar cell integrator Phoenix Solar celebrated the opening of its Australian subsidiary in Adelaide yesterday, in step with new feed-in tariff legislation introduced by the State Government. The firm's Australian managing director, Christian Bindel, said Phoenix would be a wholesale supplier of photovoltaic cells to installers for grid-connected systems for homes, schools and civic projects. SA is the first state to introduce a feed-in tariff of 44c, twice the retail electricity rate, for every kilowatt hour of electricity which is fed back into the grid from solar PV systems.

Other states are drafting similar laws. "I think there'll be an increase in demand for 1kW systems," he said, as a result of the mean-tested legislation introduced by the Rudd Government. SA's status of having 40 per cent of Australia's grid connected PV system but just 8 per cent of the country's population was one reason to base its business in Adelaide, Mr Bindel said.

The company, which has developed large scale PV power plants in Germany and Spain, is also involved in the Federal Government's $3 million solar technology demonstration facility in Alice Springs. Phoenix chief operating officer Murray Cameron said the Adelaide headquarted subsidiary was the company's fifth opened outside Germany. "This form of technology is becoming increasingly more competitive and more production volumes are coming on line around the world," Dr Cameron said.

Detractors miss the point; emissions trading will lead to economic boom

Clean Energy Council
4 July 08

The Clean Energy Council refuted claims that emissions trading will lead to an economic downturn citing that emissions trading with complementary measures will unlock over $20 billion in clean energy investment. A robust, broad-based Emissions Trading Scheme beginning in 2010, with mid-range abatement targets based on the science and an explicit trajectory, will lead to a boom in both traditional and new sectors of the economy.

However, without complementary measures such as the 20% by 2020 renewable energy target and energy efficiency targets, an Emissions Trading Scheme alone will not deliver a strong market signal to transition the economy and deliver the necessary deep cuts to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

Rob Jackson, Clean Energy Council General Manager-Policy said: "It's imperative that emissions trading begins in 2010 to provide business certainty because long-term energy infrastructure investment decisions are being made right now. An early start and a secure trajectory will give business the sign it needs to invest in emissions reduction."

"We anticipate the Garnaut report will cover complementary measures including a renewable energy target, defined energy efficiency targets, removal of market and systemic barriers, and a funding stream to support the entry of new clean technologies."

"It will take some time for the Emissions Trading Scheme alone to deliver a carbon price high enough to stimulate renewable energy investment. Complementary measures, including energy efficiency and a 20% renewable energy target in place now, will build critical industry capacity and take the pressure off an ETS to reach a high carbon price quickly."

"Significant carbon reduction is achievable and affordable. A 20% RET will unlock the vast clean energy investment potential in Australia: the Clean Energy Council has identified over 14,000 megawatts or around 40,000 gigawatt hours per year of renewable energy projects."

"In addition, through energy efficiency, we can save 30-35% of our existing energy use in buildings at zero cost or even at a profit by 2020. This will reduce the overall abatement task and create high quality jobs in energy services along the way."

"A broad scheme covering all industries will ensure that the entire economy moves towards low carbon choices; however the scheme's start should not be prevented by uncertainty in this area as sectors can be added when information about their emissions becomes available."
Key elements of a successful Emissions Trading Scheme design
  • A ‘cap & trade' scheme commencing 2010
  • complimentary measures to ensure least cost and minimal disruption to the economy
  • The emission trajectory to be in line with scientific evidence, match the Kyoto target for Australia to 2012 and then set to meet the government's target of 60% reduction by 2050.
  • Multiple trajectories with a five-year notice period to provide investor certainty
  • Trajectories should only be able to be tightened to provide market predictability
  • Coverage should include all known GHG gasses and all industries with the scheme widening as emissions calculation accuracy improves
  • allow for unlimited banking and very limited borrowing to cover administrative oversights only in balancing annual liability
  • removal of existing market and non-market barriers
  • A significant proportion of permit revenue used to fund Australian R&D programs.
  • Transitional support for disproportionally impacted business, communities and individuals should be part of the design
  • Offset credit permits and their use to be comprehensively defined to maintain scheme credibility

G8+5 parliamentarians reach agreement on climate deal
02 July, 2008

Legislators from the G8+5 have bashed out the framework for a new climate change deal, including near-term emissions reduction targets. The agreement was presented to Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, ahead of next week's G8 summit in Hokkaido, northern Japan. However, it is far from certain whether G8 leaders will match their parliamentarians' ambitions, with disagreements continuing between Europe, the US and Japan on committing to targets.

The group – comprising parliamentarians from the G8 plus the five developing economies of China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Mexico – have agreed that developed countries should aim to reduce their emissions to 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 60-80% below 1990 emissions by 2050.

The agreement, reached in Tokyo earlier this week, is a positive step forward for the group, following its failure to reach accord at an earlier meeting in Brazil. "Ambitious absolute emission reductions for developed countries must form a central part of a post-2012 framework," says the text of the agreement. It also leaves it open for other "willing countries" to adopt targets.

The agreement also acknowledges that the 13 countries account for over 70% of current global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and calls on developed countries to take the lead in reducing emissions and for developing countries to take action to control their GHG emissions. The group also agreed that the Clean Development Mechanism needs to remain in a new deal, but possibly strengthened, to encourage technology transfer to developing countries.

The text of the agreement can be found here.