Clean Energy Council report throws down the gauntlet to lawmakers

power shift CEC report

The Clean Energy Council have released a good report outlining the policy steps needed to transition to clean energy. But will anybody read it?

A Clean Energy Council report released last week makes for intriguing reading folks.

Building on the recent Paris agreements, where countries agreed to limit carbon emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees or below, the study challenges our leaders to think seriously about how to carry out such a plan.

Described by the Council as “a comprehensive blueprint that details the policy levers necessary to supercharge the move to a 21st century energy system” the Power Shift: A blueprint for a 21st century energy system study outlines the changes needed to steer our country towards a renewable energy future.

The timing of the release couldn’t be more exquisite as Australia lurches towards a double dissolution election. (At the time of writing the polls are tightening with the Coalition only a 50/50 chance of retaining power.) You could say pollies of all stripes are feeling the renewable energy heat.

But back to the report. It calls for a “national power shift” in line with the agreements set in place in the recent UN climate negotiations. At its heart is the ubiquitous five point plan:

  1. Set long-term carbon reduction targets.
  2. Set long-term and transparent targets for renewable energy.
  3. Support renewables innovation.
  4. Reform the regulatory system to better reflect an energy system of the 21st Century.
  5. Ensure the support of the community.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton described the aims of the report, while adding that our country is one of the most blessed in terms of renewable energy potential.

“Power Shift outlines a plan to cut pollution through the orderly closure of clapped-out old power stations and drive new private sector investment in cleaner, smarter energy technology,” Thornton said.

“While they have served us well over many decades, some of our current power plants would be more at home in the Eastern Bloc than in an innovative country such as Australia. As these plants phase out, Australia can take advantage of our world-class sun, wind, waves and bioenergy that will deliver the lowest-cost form of new electricity generation,” he added.

The study indicates that the renewable energy sector is beginning to finesse its policies as we approach the latest “Most Important Election”. As the recent Budget showed, the Turnbull/Morrison/Hunt team are putting a more careful, even articulate spin on how they present energy policy, but they still are beholden to the grasps of the fossil fuel lobby.

In line with Point 5, the Clean Energy Council is asking that people email copies of the Powershift report to local MPs with a message. Feel like having your say? The report and email directive to your MP are here.

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