Plibersek Spruiks Australia’s Renewables Superpower Potential

Tanya Plibersek - renewable energy

Australia’s Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek spent part of her Easter Break spruiking the Albanese Government’s progress on renewable energy.

Commenting on Facebook yesterday morning, Minister Plibersek stated:

“This is so important. Since I became Environment Minister, the number of approved renewable energy projects has more than doubled. Plus, we have a record number on the books. After a decade of denial and delay, we are unleashing Australia’s potential as renewable energy superpower.”

Minister Plibersek said the Albanese government has approved 11 renewable energy projects since coming to office, more than double the 5 projects the Coalition approved in a comparable period

In a Sky News interview yesterday, Minister Plibersek said:

” So, we’ve seen a doubling of the rate of project approvals, but we’ve also got a record number of renewable energy projects before me for assessment. So, in coming months and years, we’ll see even more renewable energy entering into our electricity grid. That means cheaper, cleaner energy for people’s homes and businesses. It means lower power bills and lower pollution.”

The Minister said projects would come online ” months” earlier than they would have otherwise due to the Albanese Government speeding up the assessment process. Ms. Plibersek pointed out the previous government had 22 energy policies and wasn’t able to land one.

” We’ve got one energy policy and we’re delivering it.”

Solar Households Not “Mad Greenies”

When pushed on exactly when Australian households and businesses will start seeing lower power bills, the response was a little vague. But the Minister noted measures Labor took at the end of last year in the form of its Energy Price Relief Plan are contributing to lower future power bills; i.e., electricity price rises won’t be as much as they would otherwise be. But that would provide little comfort to those already battling big power bills they can ill afford.

There was also a shout out from the Minister to Australians who have installed solar power systems.

” Well, we know that the more renewables we get into the grid, the better prices will be. And millions of Australians have worked that out for themselves,” said Minister Plibersek. ” They’ve put solar panels on their roofs, not because they’re mad greenies, but because they’ve worked out it saves them when it comes to their energy bills.”

It was an …interesting… way of looking at things; and again little comfort to those who either can’t afford solar panels even with the rebate; or simply cannot have them installed for other reasons – for example, renters and apartment dwellers.

About Those Fossil Fuel Projects…

While fast-tracking approvals for new major renewable energy projects is all well and good, Minister Plibersek was also pushed on the approval of fossil fuel related projects. The Minister took aim at The Greens, who she said ” like to catastrophise these things”.

“.. it would be terrific if critics like the Greens occasionally recognise the massive transformation that we’re engaged in. We’ve got, I think Chris Bowen has made the point, 82 months to get to 82 per cent of our electricity coming from renewable sources from around 30 per cent. That is as big a change as the Industrial Revolution was for Australia’s economy. It’s a big deal and we’re getting on with the job.”

And the Greens recently had what it considered a major win on fossil fuel projects. Through the party’s negotiations with Labor on the Albanese Government’s Safeguard Mechanism, the Greens claim it has stopped about half of the 116 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline from going ahead.

“Thanks to the Greens in parliament, the Safeguard Mechanism, which regulates Australia’s 215 biggest polluters, will now have a hard cap on emissions, meaning real pollution must actually come down and the coal and gas corporations can’t buy their way out of the cap with offsets.”

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. George Kaplan says

    ”Well, we know that the more renewables we get into the grid, the better prices will be”?

    Well maybe Labor knows that, but I don’t think the rest of Australia shares that view. Folk buy solar because power prices are going up up up!

    And depending how bad the rises this year and next are, a lot of folk will likely start looking closely at off-grid options because that will be more affordable.

    The end result may be tens or hundreds of thousands of households dropping off the grid which will result in ever higher and less affordable prices as the grid goes into a death spiral.

    • Agreed George, and it will only get worse with more low-cost / high-risk Huawei inverters. They pose a national security risk

  2. I cant agree with the Minister here.

    America is a defence superpower, they dont let the chinese build their fighter planes.

    We cant be a renewables superpower if we’re still relying on Chinese owned inverters.

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