Clean energy's influence on Australia

Renewable energy and other methods reducing negative impacts on the environment have become an increasingly significant part of the energy and electricity landscape as the world grapples with a number of environmental issues.

With the May 14 announcement of the 2013-14 federal Budget, the government has released a number of statistics relating to renewable energy and clean technology in our nation.

Australia's Clean Energy Future package has been operating with the goal of reducing the country's carbon emissions, increasing the development and use of renewable technologies, and helping businesses and manufacturers to invest in energy efficient capital equipment to lower their energy usage and costs and to increase their competitiveness. 

With concerns over rising electricity prices, clean energy and renewable technologies have become one of the ways in which to transition into a more sustainable industry. 

"The science is clear - the world is warming and high levels of carbon pollution risk significant environmental and economic damage. Australia faces significant costs from a warmer, more unstable climate," said minister for climate change, industry and innovation Greg Combet.

Mr Combet stated that a price on carbon, executed through the nation's carbon tax, is the cheapest way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In the first nine months of the carbon tax's implementation, emissions from the National Electricity Market (NEM) fell by 7.7 per cent, representing a reduction of approximately ten million tonnes of pollution.

Furthermore, renewable energy generation has risen by almost 30 per cent in the financial year to date, and a number of renewable energy power stations have been accredited under the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Mr Combet also cites the achievement of the country reaching over one million solar panel rooftop systems as a significant milestone for renewable energy in Australia, as households become more self-sufficient with their energy.

The Clean Technology Investment Program has also been assisting businesses and manufacturers to improve upon their equipment with energy efficient investments and carbon cutting measures.
As well as this, the Budget announced adjustments to carbon pricing estimates.

Due to economic weakness in Europe, Australia's carbon price is projected to fall from $25.40 per tonne of carbon emitted (tCO2) in 2014-15 to $12.10 tCO2 in 2015-16.

In line with these adjustments, coal industry assistance will be reduced, and a number of uncommitted funds from various projects and initiatives will be returned to the Budget.

Posted by Charlie Moore