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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20 Responses to ACT joins exclusive club as renewable energy goal reached ahead of schedule
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Margus von Tihemetsa Margus von Tihemetsa 7:51 pm 18 Sep 19

"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."

Yah, I'm certainly one of them!

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 8:16 pm 18 Sep 19

Purchased energy people, not produced.

Jordan Bromhead Jordan Bromhead 10:53 pm 18 Sep 19

With Base load power from NSW Coal. We’re 100% renewables until we’re not.

Marko Lehikoinen Marko Lehikoinen 5:37 am 19 Sep 19

Seeing solar is being exported to the grid at about 10c/kwh, I expect to see my power bills drop substantially to reflect the cost of living so green.

Daniel Kolek Daniel Kolek 6:52 am 19 Sep 19

How easy it is with a jurisdiction of 350000 people. ACT LA shouldnt exist.

Justin Watson Justin Watson 8:28 am 19 Sep 19

We also have the cheapest retail electricity in Australia at aboiut 23c/kWh. NSW is 33c/kWh!

    Gerry Gageldonk Gerry Gageldonk 2:33 pm 20 Sep 19

    Justin Watson well generate all your own and don't sick off the grid

Anne Daun Anne Daun 12:54 pm 19 Sep 19

Apparently the plan is to get rid of gas too. There'll be a lot of complensation to be paid to the likes of us if that happens. Many people I know have invested heavily in gas heating.

    Colin Vivian Colin Vivian 3:23 pm 19 Sep 19

    Anne Daun over the next 35 years - ie. well past the replacement age of existing appliances.

Kristen Saep Kristen Saep 7:52 pm 19 Sep 19

Jake Misell and this is one of the many reasons you should move here....

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 8:36 pm 19 Sep 19

We can all commute on flying pigs !

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)

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.

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.

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 11:11 am 24 Sep 19

So where does our power come form at Night?

John Hynes John Hynes 8:32 pm 24 Sep 19

Lets see what it costs

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