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IEA applauds Australia's clean energy efforts

22nd Nov 2012

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has completed an in-depth review of Australia's current energy policies - and it's largely good news for the government.

IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven described the country's clean energy plans as "positive", with a number of steps forward taken since the last evaluation in 2006.

"The IEA strongly supports Australia's continuing efforts to increase and improve low-carbon energy in the country," she explained.

Solar power was cited as a particular highlight, with the organisation claiming the nation's abundant resources in this area has helped it to become a "significant investor" in sustainable technologies.

"The scale of Australia's energy policy ambitions is enormous and will be very costly even for a resource-rich nation," it added.

Van der Hoeven backed the government's decision to introduce a carbon price, claiming it could help to stabilise the electricity market.

But it wasn't all praise. The IEA was quick to point out that energy efficiency policies would need to be implemented to ensure future initiatives run to maximum capacity.

However, this wasn't just a problem in Australia - the IEA said this was a worldwide issue in its recent World Energy Outlook report.

According to the agency's statistics, four-fifths of commercial energy efficiency gains in the global buildings sector are untapped, while almost 50 per cent in industrial operations are yet to be realised.

Minister for resources and energy Martin Ferguson described the IEA's Australia report as showing many of the beneficial policies the federal government has put in place to improve the energy sector.

And, addressing the IEA's remarks over energy efficiency, he said this was a priority of the government's agenda.

"Australia has demonstrated - through programs such as the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program - that to unlock this potential, energy efficiency needs to be integrated into business decision-making," he explained.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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