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Monday, 17 August 2009
Page: 8057


Mr HUNT (8:52 PM) —The final amendment I turn to concerns the reservation of a portion of one-quarter of the new renewable energy certificates to be generated for the emerging technologies. These are the great technologies of solar thermal, solar concentrators, geothermal, ocean, tidal and biomass. These different forms of energy are the energy sources of the future. We have a deep and legitimate concern, backed by groups such as the WWF and the Geothermal Association, that the way in which this target is currently designed and will operate will crowd out these great visions of clean energy for the future. Therefore, this amendment seeks to achieve a target of 8,875 gigawatt hours by 2020, or exactly one-quarter of the 35,500 gigawatt hours of additional energy contained in this bill as the new and additional renewable energy target. We seek to ensure that that quarter—that 25 per cent or that 8,875 gigawatt hours of energy—is reserved for the emerging technologies. We would begin this in 2015 and ensure that 1,375 gigawatt hours are reserved and that each year thereafter an additional 1,500 gigawatt hours are reserved for the great technologies of the future. Solar thermal, solar concentrators, geothermal, ocean and tidal are the great energy sources which we wish to promote. We believe that there is a risk to them within this bill and we seek in good faith to present these amendments.

Let me just say this: negotiations are proceeding on the amendments all up in good faith. We thank the government for the two concessions they have made. We believe that they are important concessions and go some way towards ensuring passage of this bill. We want passage of this bill through the House. There are critical elements on which we are still to agree and critical elements which will determine the final position in the Senate. But there has been good faith today. There has been a resolution of the waste coalmine gas issue, and we believe there is the ground for significant progress on the other issues. There has been progress but not completion of the decoupling issue.

I thank the government for their engagement. I note that there are still fundamental critical concerns which need to be addressed in relation to emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries, the aluminium sector, heat pumps, food processing and the reservation of a portion of the new renewable energy for the great emerging sectors of solar thermal, solar concentrators, geothermal energy, ocean energy and tidal energy. I hope that we can have these amendments passed tonight and that we can work in good faith and continue the work of today and the weekend with the government. I commend the amendments to the House.