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Paralan ministerial launch: speech.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

PARALANA MINISTERIAL LAUNCH

*Check against delivery*

Good morning ladies and gentlemen and thank you for taking the time to come to Paralana - a new energy frontier for Australia.

The work Petratherm is undertaking here in South Australia is some of the most important work being undertaken in energy anywhere in the world.

In the Australian context, geothermal drilling is an important step towards meeting a number of Government ambitions:

· To increase energy security by diversifying energy supplies.

· To reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions to 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2050.

· To have 20 per cent of Australia's electricity supply by 2020 provided by renewable energy.

The common thread in these three goals is to rethink and re-engineer how we generate energy while maintaining energy security.

To this end, the Australian Government has invested heavily in renewable energy technologies.

The project I launch today was assisted through the Geothermal Drilling Program: a $50 million response to the high cost of deep drilling that was holding the industry back.

The fact that this project has moved forward with the help of the program shows the value of our investment and of our commitment to a geothermal industry in Australia.

The potential of geothermal energy is truly staggering: Geoscience Australia estimates that if one per cent of Australia's geothermal energy was extracted, it would equate to 26,000 times Australia's total annual energy consumption.

The Geothermal Drilling Program aims to exploit this potential by encouraging growth and innovation in the geothermal industry by accelerating the capacity of geothermal to produce electricity.

We also aim to establish Australia as a world leader in enhanced geothermal systems.

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

07 Aug 2009

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The first recipients of grants under Round 1 of the program - Petratherm and Panax - will help move Australia closer to these goals.

Round 2 of the Program closed on 4 August and I expect to announce further grants later this year.

I look forward to the successful completion of the Paralana project.

It is not only a big step forward for Petratherm, but also for the geothermal industry and the Australian Government’s work to advance the possibilities of geothermal energy.

The Australian Government will enhance Australia’s energy security by diversifying our energy supply.

Several renewable energy sources are going to be part of Australia’s energy future and we are giving each of them the opportunity to develop to commercialisation.

The $7 million Geothermal Drilling Program grant that has helped bring the Paralana project to this point is part of the biggest spend on clean energy technology this country has ever seen.

The $4.5 billion Clean Energy Initiative will complement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and Renewable Energy Target in creating a sustainable market for low emission energy technologies in Austra

lia.

Ladies and gentlemen, from the Prime Minister down, the Australian Government is committed to developing and deploying affordable, reliable, clean energy technologies.

Which is why, it gives me such pleasure to be with you today to congratulate Petratherm on its successful application to prove geothermal resources.

I look forward to your continued success.

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