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Notice given 26 April 2007

3166  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources—With reference to the Government’s report, Tracking to the Kyoto Protocol target , which shows that Australia will exceed its Kyoto target of 108 per cent of 1990 levels by 2010 by approximately 7 million tonnes under the present proposed abatement measures:

(1) Does the Government still intend to meet the Kyoto target; if so, what measures will be adopted to abate the reported 7 million tonnes of excess carbon dioxide emissions by 2010.

(2) (a) What target for emissions has the Government adopted for 2020; and (b) how does this target compare with the Kyoto target, and how will it be met.

3167  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources—

(1) Has the Government considered the discussion paper prepared by the state governments in August 2006 which reported on the impact of reducing the levels of 2005 greenhouse emissions by 19 per cent by 2030; if so, does the Government agree with the paper.

(2) (a) Does the Minister accept modelling that shows that if greenhouse emissions were reduced by 19 per cent by 2030: (i) that there would be an increase in the cost of electricity of between $1 and $2 a week per household, and (ii) that it would take just 2 months extra to achieve the level of gross domestic product that would otherwise be achieved by 2030; and (b) if the Minister does not accept this modelling, can a detailed answer be provided as to its shortcomings.

(3) (a) Does the Minister accept modelling in the May 2006 report of Frontier Economics, Options for moving towards a lower emissions future , that the cost of reducing greenhouse emissions from the electricity sector by 40 per cent by 2030 would be: (i) an increased cost of between $5 billion to $8 billion over 25 years in an economy expected to grow by $1 6000 billion in that time, and (ii) an increase in average electricity prices of between 43 and 71 cents per person per week; and (b) if the Minister does not accept this modelling, can a detailed answer be provided as to its shortcomings.

3168  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—

(1) Can details be provided of the Renewable Energy Development Initiative grants made to date.

(2) What evidence is there that the scope of the measure has been limited by: (a) the grants of up to 50 per cent of project costs; and (b) the cap of $5 million.

(3) When is it anticipated that the $100 million budget for these grants be: (a) fully committed; and (b) fully expended.

(4) Has the Government considered targeted grants for the development and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies that were the result of Australian research but appear likely to be lost to overseas interests.


 (5) Which of the following measures suggested by the Business Council of Sustainable Energy are being considered for adoption: (a) an increase in the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target from 9 500 gigawatt hours (GWh) to 15 500 GWh by 2010; (b) more stringent and extensive minimum energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings; (c) extension and expansion of the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme by 6 megatonnes per year in 2010; (d) extension and expansion of the Queensland Gas Scheme to double its contribution by 2010; and (e) an extensive clean energy fund of $1.5 billion to deploy clean energy technologies.

(6) For each measure in paragraph (5) that is not being considered, why is it not being considered.

Senator Milne: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 3170-3172)—With reference to the statement by Origin Energy spokesperson, Mr Tony Wood, in the article ‘Eureka moment puts sliced solar cells on track’ ( Science Magazine , vol. 315, 9 February 2007, p. 785) that the company plans to announce a commercial plant to manufacture SLIVER cells that will ‘likely be in Europe or North America to be closer to markets and to take advantage of government incentives for alternative energy’:

(1) Has the Minister, the department, or its officers, discussed SLIVER cells and the future of their development with Origin Energy; if so, can a list be provided of correspondence and meetings with Origin Energy, including the dates, participants and a summary of issues discussed.

(2) Can a list be provided of solar technologies which were invented, since 1996, in Australia but have been commercialised overseas.

(3) (a) What analysis has been made of the potential for SLIVER cells and other solar technologies to generate sustainable cost competitive power; and (b) can a list be provided of reports or papers where this analysis is documented, including the title, author, date and a description of the analysis.

(4) What action will, or has, the Minister taken to ensure that SLIVERs are developed to their full potential.

(5) Should Australian inventions, such as SLIVERs, be commercialised in Australia.

(6) (a) What government incentives are available in Europe and North America for alternative energy that are not available in Australia; and (b) will the Australian Government introduce comparable alternative energy incentives.

3171 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training

3172 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources