Greens call for fast-tracked clean energy

The Greens have called for Australia’s renewable energy target to be increased to 90 per cent by 2030 and for an extra $20 billion to be spent through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, in a bid to ultimately run the country entirely on clean energy, Guardian Australia reports.

Greens leader Christine Milne said the bid for Australia to eventually become fully renewable was “technically feasible and extremely achievable”.

The report said analysts and business groups had reacted with caution to the ambitious plan, which would drastically escalate Australia’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Under the Greens’ plan, the renewable energy target, currently marked at 20 per cent of power generation by 2020, would be increased to 90 per cent by 2030.

Funding for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation would be boosted by $3 billion a year to $30 billion over 10 years.

This investment, intended to develop technology in wind, solar and hydro power generation, would be paid for by borrowing, keeping it off the budget. Guardian Australia said Milne would not reveal how the Greens would pay for the interest on the extra investment, saying only the details would be released in the party’s pre-election costings.

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) said it would not support any rise in the renewable energy target.

“For some time the BCA has argued the introduction of a renewable energy target was not the best way to address the risks associated with climate change, as such a policy does not represent a lowest-cost approach to emissions reduction,” a spokesperson said.

“Australia’s economy has historically benefited from access to abundant and low-cost energy sources, notably arising from its substantial reserves of brown and black coal and natural gas.”