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Give renewable energy R&D $46 million - Brown.



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13 December 2002

Give Renewable Energy R&D $46 Million - Brown

Greens Senator Bob Brown today called for the government to allocate $46.0 million to the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Renewable Energy when it announces the new round of CRC funding, expected later this week.

“Forty-six million would bring the Renewable Energy CRC into line with existing grants for fossil fuel research, funded through the three CRCs for Petroleum, Lignite (brown coal) and Coal.

“Unless its funding is renewed -- and, to date the government is silent -- the CRC for Renewable Energy will run out of money in June 2003 and close down.

“The government is consistently pushing fossil fuels while Australia falls further behind countries like Germany and Japan on renewable energy, especially solar energy.

“On top of the $46 million CRC funding, coal and aluminium companies got $77 million from the so-called Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program (60% of the funding) in 2001.

“Five weeks ago, Industry Minister Ian McFarlane gave Rio Tinto an early Christmas present of $35 million to set up a Sustainable Minerals Industry Foundation to research how the mining industry can save energy -- and money.

“Where is the money for a Renewable Energy Foundation to develop technologies of the future and replace the Energy Research and Development Corporation axed by the Howard government in 1997?

“The government appears to be backing fossil fuel while renewable energy stays out in the cold”, said Senator Brown.

Senator Brown noted that the role of the existing CRC for Greenhouse Accounting is unrelated to renewable energy research.

Category: Senate Office

Author: Cate Weate