New inquiry to put ACT’s renewable energy future in spotlight

Ian Bushnell 2 March 2021 7
Mugga Lane Solar Park

Mugga Lane Solar Park. Can the ACT be a national renewable energy hub? Photo: File.

The possibilities for developing the ACT into a renewable energy research powerhouse will be the subject of a new Legislative Assembly committee inquiry.

The Standing Committee on Environment, Climate Change and Biodiversity wants to hear from researchers, businesses, organisations and government on opportunities and barriers to making the ACT a place for world-leading clean energy research and innovation.

Committee Chair, Labor MLA Marisa Paterson, said the ACT had already been at the forefront of green energy and the committee wanted to see what was required to consolidate the Territory as a renewables stronghold.

“The ACT has been a leader in this technology and was the first major Australian jurisdiction to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy,” Dr Paterson said.

“We want to look ahead to ensure that the ACT can become a global exporter of renewable energy expertise.

“We want to hear about ways to demonstrate leadership and innovation in this sector, how to connect people and organisations to spark ideas and ways to promote the ACT as the home of clean energy.”

The terms of reference cover a range of topics from research and development to policy settings to the financing of projects.

The committee wants to hear how the ACT could become a national hub for renewable energy technologies and new industries, including zero-emissions vehicles.

It will look at battery storage, including neighbourhood-scale batteries, which provide an alternative to individual households buying their own battery storage system, improving the level of clean energy supply in the grid, and vehicle-to-grid technologies, where electric vehicles can feed power back into the electricity grid.

It will also investigate how renewable energy projects could be innovatively financed and managed in the ACT.

The committee is keen to see greater collaboration and innovation among stakeholders and wants to know what strategies would overcome current limitations.

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The effectiveness of the administration and funding of ACT Government policies and regulations to support renewable energy, climate action, and emissions reduction will also be under scrutiny.

The government already has a climate change strategy and is committed to net zero emissions by 2025. It has a range of policies to encourage the take-up of renewable energy and electric vehicles through the Sustainable Household Scheme.

It is also in the process of converting its car and bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles and building big batteries to help stabilise the grid and provide back-up power in emergencies.

Submissions can be made by email to until Thursday, 29 April 2021.

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7 Responses to New inquiry to put ACT’s renewable energy future in spotlight
Mike of Canberra Mike of Canberra 10:33 pm 04 Mar 21

Over many years, the only consistency I’ve seen from the green-left is their apparent dislike of ordinary working people actually having jobs in which they can help produce something useful. Back in the nineties, many such people were employed as forest workers, roles in which they helped harvest native forests to produce either inputs into beautiful, higher value products or lower value products such as wood chips (greens hated those). In those days, there was a constant battle between those producing forest products and the green left, who appeared to believe that any tree logged would never be replaced (they are actually – it’s a little science called silviculture) and that, besides, logging these trees would destroy a host of rare and endangered species of trees and other vegetation. the habitats of endangered wildlife species and a range of other ecological values. The answer came to be ecologically sustainable forest management (ESFM), the holy grail that would achieve a near-perfect mix of high value wood production and the preservation of important conservation values in reserves. Another important value associated with forests, was the role of trees as “the lungs of the earth” in that they provided carbon absorption and storage, all of which contributed to their ongoing growth and survival.

Now, through Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs and their movie “The Planet of the Humans”, we learn that, because the use of those sinful old fossil fuels will almost certainly destroy the planet, the greens now advocate their replacement as an energy source with biomass. It needs to be understood that, to replace the energy generated by fossil fuels, the amount of biomass needed would almost certainly destroy many forests permanently.

The green-left don’t understand consistency and don’t value ordinary human existence. Don’t let them dictate how we live.

    JS9 JS9 11:06 pm 04 Mar 21

    Not sure where any local ACT politician of any persuasion has been saying anything about biomass … but don’t let that in the way of your crazy ranting or actually responding to anything in the article…. but nice rant nonetheless.

    As for forestry – for every well cultivated and managed forest out there, there seems to be a terribly managed ones along side them. State Governments of both persuasions long had meddled in it and done a horrendous job.

jwinston jwinston 10:55 am 03 Mar 21

Watch “The Planet of the Humans”, a documentary by Michael Moore, to see the lie of renewables and so-called green energy.

    sisyphus sisyphus 6:10 pm 03 Mar 21

    Better still, read some up-to-date peer-reviewed research. That film is primarily attacking historical straw men, presenting half-truths and setting up false dichotomies. And the documentary was made by Jeff Gibbs, not Michael Moore.

    jwinston jwinston 7:37 pm 03 Mar 21

    Isn’t it amazing when leftists say or do something that doesn’t fit the agenda of other leftists (like this movie by Executive Producer Michael Moore) and all of a sudden the information presented are “half-truths” and “setting up false dichotomies”.

    And what is up to date peer research? Is that like Batemans Bay oyster farmers showing me their 100 year old records of sea levels that have not risen in that time?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:24 pm 03 Mar 21


Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 8:47 pm 02 Mar 21

My view is we must be ambitious to generate 200-300% of what we need. We don't have any extractive industries, a diabolical budget situation and limited additional revenue sources.

Sleepy old Tasmania has set a target of 200% renewable, we should strive to beat them.

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