The Labor Government has outlined its energy policy should it be elected that includes a ten-year energy investment framework and adoption of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).
Labor has said it will continue to pursue a bipartisan market mechanism, such as a NEG, that could deliver on the commitment of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
Other policy announcements include:
Double the original investment in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Labor will provide an additional $10 billion in capital for the CEFC over five years from 2019-20.
This will be used to:
- Support large-scale generation and storage projects, including solar and wind farms
- Support Labor’s Household Battery Program by providing concessional loans for the purchase of solar and battery systems
- Boost investment in energy efficiency projects, commercial and community renewable energy projects, and industrial transformation
Create an independent Energy Security and Modernisation Fund
Labor will provide $5 billion in capital to future-proof the energy network – building and upgrading Australia’s energy transmission and distribution systems.
Using the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated Systems Plan as its blueprint, Labor will facilitate investment in:
- Upgrades to existing interconnectors, and building new interconnectors to lower prices and improve system stability
- New gas pipelines, upgrades and extensions to unlock new gas supplies and improve transportation to businesses and households
- Transmission links to Renewable Energy Zones to access new renewables projects across the country
Implement a new Energy Productivity Agenda
Labor will implement a suite of measures to help Australian businesses improve their energy efficiency and cut their power bills.
- Provide one thousand grants of up to $20,000 to Australian manufacturers to help them reduce their energy usage – for example, through energy management systems and data gathering and analysis
- Allow ARENA to support a broader range of energy efficiency projects, not just projects with renewable energy involvement
- Develop new training programs for energy managers and consultants, and an accreditation system for energy auditors
- Improve state and territory energy efficiency initiatives through COAG
Labor will commit $31 million over the forward estimates to deliver these measures.
One million household battery installations by 2025
From 2020, Labor’s Household Battery Program will provide a $2000 rebate for 100,000 households on incomes of less than $180,000 per year to purchase and install battery systems, as well as low-cost loans for households.
Neighbourhood Renewables Program
Renters and social housing residents can also benefit from cheaper and cleaner renewable energy with community power hubs to support the development of renewables projects in local communities – such as solar gardens on apartment rooftops, community wind farms, energy efficiency upgrades for social housing, and grants for community groups to pilot new projects.
Labor’s Neighbourhood Renewables Program has a capped budget cost of $75 million over the forward estimates and $100 million over four years to 2022-23.
Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.
After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.