Election round-up: who’s promising what ahead of May 21

The Australian Greens leader Dr Adam Bandt speaks at a microphone outdoors (climate policy)
The Greens leader Adam Bandt

With photo ops in full swing ahead of May’s federal election, Energy Source & Distribution has compiled this round-up of who’s promising what on the campaign trail when it comes to climate change and energy policy.

The Greens announce $17b renewable energy plan

Ahead of the election, The Greens leader Adam Bandt has unveiled the party’s plan for Australians to have the “cheapest, safest and most reliable power in history”.

The Cheaper and Cleaner Power for Homes and Businesses Plan has been costed by the PBO and is expected to deliver an investment of $17.1 billion into electrifying Australian homes, $14.8 billion into electrifying small businesses and $12.6 billion into installing small scale batteries in homes and businesses over this critical decade.

“The Greens’ plan will help people get batteries for their homes and switch from gas to renewables, cutting power bills and cutting pollution,” Mr Bandt said.

Grants of up to $10,000 and loans up to $50,000 will be available to households to install solar batteries under the plan.

To support transitioning from gas, households and small businesses could also apply for grants of up to $25,000 and loans up to $100,000.

“The climate crisis is real. It’s caused by mining and burning coal, oil and gas. They’re heating up the planet, and if we don’t phase them out, the world is going to be a more dangerous place to live,” the plan states.

“If we want a chance at a safe climate future, we need to get out of coal now. But that doesn’t mean leaving coal workers behind. 

“We don’t need to choose between taking urgent climate action and supporting coal communities. We can do both.”

Related article: Labor accuses Taylor of energy ‘scare campaign’

Coalition promises $300m for gas and renewables in NT

If re-elected, the Coalition will give $130 million to gas companies Inpex, Santos and Darwin LNG in the Northern Territory to invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of a $300 million energy industry funding promise.

The $300 million funding would see up to $70 million sectioned for a new hydrogen industrial hub outside Darwin to support hydrogen production for export and domestic use.

On the election campaign trail, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the funding was part of a $2.6 billion commitment to boost the territory’s export capabilities.

“We want to harness the territory’s position as a world leader in energy and turbocharge it, unlocking investment and generating more jobs,” he said.

The Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the funding would give local gas producers a bigger competitive advantage internationally.

The funding also includes $96 million for future clean energy projects in the Northern Territory.

Related article: ETU slams NSW Government’s energy transition plan

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce refuses to use term ‘energy transition’

Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce says the Coalition would not use the term “energy transition” because it “equals unemployment” in the regions.

The Nationals leader has also defended the Coalition’s attempts to have ARENA support coal, and for other government infrastructure funds to finance the construction of coal-fired power stations.

“Transition to what? There is no other industry here,” Joyce said while visiting the Queensland coal community of Gladstone in the lead up to the federal election.

Speaking on the ABC’s Insiders program, broadcast from Gladstone, Joyce said the Coalition would support the mining and export of coal overseas “as long as they want to buy coal”.

Also speaking on Insiders, Labor’s shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the opposition was supportive of hydrogen and clean energy projects in regional areas, but that the opposition did support new coal projects if they passed environmental approval processes.

“We have said repeatedly that there is a future for coal for the time being because there is an appetite for coal around the world. Over time, our energy mix will change,” Chalmers said.

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