Labor outlines energy policy

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The Labor Government has outlined their energy policy should they be elected at next year’s Federal election, which includes a ten-year energy investment framework and adoption of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

Labor has said they will continue to pursue a bipartisan market mechanism, such as NEG, that could deliver on the commitment of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Other policy announcements include:

Double the original investment in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Labor will provide an additional $10 billion in capital for the CEFC over five years from 2019-20.

This will be used to:

  • Support large-scale generation and storage projects, including solar and wind farms
  • Support Labor’s Household Battery Program by providing concessional loans for the purchase of solar and battery systems
  • Boost investment in energy efficiency projects, commercial and community renewable energy projects, and industrial transformation

Create an independent Energy Security and Modernisation Fund

Labor will provide $5 billion in capital to future-proof energy networks – building and upgrading Australia’s energy transmission and distribution systems.

Using the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated Systems Plan as a blueprint, Labor will facilitate investment in:

  • Upgrades to existing interconnectors, and building new interconnectors to lower prices and improve system stability
  • New gas pipelines, upgrades and extensions to unlock new gas supplies and improve transportation to businesses and households
  • Transmission links to Renewable Energy Zones to access new renewables projects across the country

Implement a new Energy Productivity Agenda

Labor will implement a suite of measures to help Australian businesses improve their energy efficiency and cut their power bills.

  • Provide one thousand grants of up to $20,000 to Australian manufacturers to help them reduce their energy usage – for example, through energy management systems and data gathering and analysis
  • Allow ARENA to support a broader range of energy efficiency projects, not just projects with  renewable energy involvement
  • Develop new training programs for energy managers and consultants, and an accreditation system for energy auditors
  • Improve state and territory energy efficiency initiatives through COAG

Labor will commit $31 million over the forward estimates to deliver these measures.

One million household battery installations by 2025

From 2020, Labor’s Household Battery Program will provide a $2,000 rebate for 100,000 households on incomes of less than $180,000 per year to purchase and install battery systems, as well as low-cost loans for households.

Neighbourhood Renewables Program

Renters and social housing residents will also benefit from cheaper and cleaner renewable energy, with community power hubs to support the development of renewables projects in local communities – such as solar gardens on apartment rooftops, community wind farms, energy efficiency upgrades for social housing, and grants for community groups to pilot new projects.

Labor’s Neighbourhood Renewables Program has a capped budget cost of $75 million over the forward estimates and $100 million over four years to 2022-23.

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