ACT joins exclusive club as renewable energy goal reached ahead of schedule

Lachlan Roberts 18 September 2019 41
renewable energy

Mr Rattenbury, Mr Merzian and Mr Barr have released The Australian Institute’s report. Photo: File.

The ACT is set to join the exclusive club ‘100 per cent renewables club’ alongside Rhein-Hunsrück, Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, Extremadura, Burgenland, Carinthia, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Austria, according to a new report from The Australian Institute.

When stage three of South Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm comes online on 1 October, the ACT will become the first major jurisdiction outside Europe to transition from a fossil fuel-based energy supply to 100 per cent renewable electricity, nearly two months ahead of schedule.

The territory will join three jurisdictions in both Germany and Austria, and one jurisdiction in Spain in achieving complete, clean energy.

While some jurisdictions have achieved 100 per cent renewable energy based on historic investments in hydroelectricity, the report said the ACT will join a select few to have made the transition from a fossil fuel-dominated energy system to renewables.

The Australia Institute’s climate and energy program director Richie Merzian called the ACT a “renewable energy trailblazer”, saying the achievement showed what governments can achieve with a strong climate and energy policy.

“The ACT Government is leading the transition to clean energy,” Mr Merzian said. “The report shows that states and territories are leading the way on climate action while national governments often lag behind. Australia is a perfect example of that.

“While some federal parliamentarians are trying to hit the brakes on Australia’s energy transition, even Parliament House will soon run on 100 per cent renewable energy.”

Mr Merzian said the ACT has provided a working example that other state governments are starting to copy; in particular, Victoria and Queensland. ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said he was happy for other governments to follow the ACT’s lead.

“I think many people are unsure how to do this so we want others to copy us,” Mr Rattenbury said. “We are perfectly happy if they copy what we have done because I think we have provided a template that is effective but also cost-effective.”

Mr Rattenbury said he believes the majority of Canberrans are proud of the ACT Government’s achievement of 100 per cent renewable electricity, saying that it offsets their frustration towards the Federal Government’s lack of action.

“I think Canberrans love the delicious irony of the fact that from now on, all the politicians on the Hill who are talking down renewables will be working in a building that is 100 per cent powered by green energy,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT reaching its goal was a symbolic statement to the rest of the nation that the national capital will continue lead in this area.

“This achievement reflects the culmination of a pretty significant journey for this city,” Mr Barr said. “We are seeing jobs created in industries that didn’t exist in our city 10 years ago and we are seeing more energy produced in our region.

“Previously, we were a very significant importer of power across the Eastern seaboard and while we still remain an importer of power through renewable sources, we are seeing more energy generated in Canberra and the region.”

The Australian Institute said jurisdictions in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Uganda are expected to join the ACT in the to 100 per cent renewable electricity club next year.

Read The Australian Institute’s report here.


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41 Responses to ACT joins exclusive club as renewable energy goal reached ahead of schedule
Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:43 am 25 Sep 19

“Garry Webster i did work for them over a period of years. It was nowaste 2010, 12 and 14 before they gave up putting dates behind it.”

I guess that isn’t in your CV then?

John Hynes John Hynes 8:32 pm 24 Sep 19

Lets see what it costs

Capital Retro Capital Retro 2:39 pm 24 Sep 19

Trevor Watson, don’t ask difficult questions as they won’t be answered.

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 11:11 am 24 Sep 19

So where does our power come form at Night?

theberra theberra 11:44 am 21 Sep 19

@ richard algis Having moved to Canberra from Sydney, I’m happy to pay the extra rego costs. Here in ‘The Berra’ my car moves at four times the speed as I used to in Sydney on my peak hour commute. I can leave home an hour later to get to work and be at home with my family an hour sooner, 5 days a week. I’m more than happy to pay the extra rego for that precious time. You ‘berrans’ really have no idea how good you’ve got it until you try sydney.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:39 am 21 Sep 19

I don’t get a wage any more but say I “put up” $10,000 “to help the planet”, who would receive the money in how would it be applied?

What would I see that would change in respect of “helping the planet”?

Mick Johnson Mick Johnson 10:01 pm 20 Sep 19

well its time to put up or shut up, how many 10s of thousands of your wage are are you putting towards helping the planet?......i thought not.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 2:42 pm 20 Sep 19

If burning land fill gas to generate electricty is accepted as “renewable energy” then I guess we will also be conned into accepting that burning the garbage that emits the methane land fill gas will also be called “renewable energy”.

All hail the incinerator!

Arthur Arthur 11:37 am 20 Sep 19

Not to forget the ripoff feed-in tariff paid for rooftop solar generation combined with the equally ripoff daily network charge.

Best idea is to continue ‘natural’ woodfire burning and kill off the population altogether with the current Belconnen-based asphyxiation program encouraged by the ACT Environment Playgroup Authority. Nothing like renewable carcinogens and particulates to kill off the kids and seniors.

Garry Webster Garry Webster 7:17 am 20 Sep 19

I remember the 'no waste by 2020' campaign, tips will be a closed. Magnificent stuff.

    Peter Marshall Peter Marshall 8:37 am 20 Sep 19

    It wasn't 2020. Wasn't it 2010? Then they told us it was an "aspirational" target. I call it government lying to the people.

    John Hynes John Hynes 8:33 pm 24 Sep 19

    Garry Webster i did work for them over a period of years. It was nowaste 2010, 12 and 14 before they gave up putting dates behind it.

Stewart Power Stewart Power 11:15 pm 19 Sep 19

Great. The plants can enjoy living here when the people move away cuz it's too expensive to pay rates (y)

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