NSW helps corporates transition to renewables

Photo: Vera Kratochvil
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AS the Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveils Australia’s 2050 net zero plan, the NSW government has launched a pilot for its National GreenPower Accreditation Program, enabling large organisations that typically use higher amounts of energy to access a trial of accredited renewable energy, through Corporate Direct.

The GreenPower aims to make the process of renewable energy accreditation more affordable, transparent and straight forward for users and is currently being used by more than 160,000 households and businesses, while supporting the renewable energy sector through investment.

GreenPower Corporate Direct will allow participants in the program to surrender renewable energy certificates through GreenPower.

The voluntary renewable energy program will deliver users with not just accreditation but extensive auditing of their purchases.

“Large energy users have asked for a GreenPower product that they can manage themselves and that reflects that many corporates are directly buying renewable energy from solar and wind farms,” said Tim Stock, chair of the GreenPower Steering Group.

GreenPower has been recognised by national and international organisations as a net zero emissions program, by groups such as NABERS, B Corp, RE100 and ClimateActive.

The program will target corporations, councils and operators from sectors that typically use higher amounts of energy, such as manufacturers.

The program will publish the source of renewable energy purchases surrendered by organisation and audit these purchases, creating a greater rate of transparency.

“Corporate Direct is an attractive option for big users that want to support the transition to a clean and affordable electricity system in Australia. It integrates well with international frameworks like the Paris Agreement,” said Stock.

GreenPower should empower large organisations and energy users to secure renewable energy and certificates from energy generators of certificate wholesale market, without the risk of single sources being counted more than one.

The program independently audits energy providers ensuring the amount of renewable energy promised to customers  being put is into the grid.

The pilot program for Corporate Direct will be available to these organisations until December of 2022, when it will become subject to demand.

Meanwhile yesterday the Morrison government revealed its strategy to deliver net zero emissions by 2050.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan will technology-driven guided by five principles that will ensure Australia’s shift to a net zero economy will not put industries, regions or jobs at risk.

The principles are: technology not taxes; expand choices not mandates; drive down the cost of a range of new technologies; keep energy prices down with affordable and reliable power; and, be accountable for progress.

Over the next decade, the government’s existing $20 billion investment in low emissions technology is expected to unlock at least $80 billion of total private and public investment, including in clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and energy storage.

The Plan also identifies the potential for continued technology advances and breakthroughs to unlock ultra low cost solar. As part of the annual update to the Technology Investment Roadmap, we have set a stretch goal of solar electricity generation at $15 per megawatt hour (MWh). Australia is a world leader in renewable energy, and cheap, clean electricity is integral to lowering emissions in the electricity sector and other industries in Australia.

The Plan shows how our priority technologies will deliver 85 per cent of the emissions reductions necessary to achieve net zero by 2050. This is achieved through our strong track record, with emissions already more than 20 per cent lower than 2005 levels, the Technology Investment Roadmap which will reduce emissions by around 40 per cent, global technology trends that will reduce emissions by 15 per cent, and high-integrity offsets that will achieve at least a further 10 per cent reduction.

It recognises the role future technology breakthroughs will play in closing the gap, with new and emerging technologies to reduce emissions by a further 15 per cent by 2050.

“Australia now has a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and we have a clear plan for achieving it,” Morrison said. “The Plan outlines responsible, practical action to achieve net zero that is in our national interest.”

Minister Taylor said Australia’s emissions reduction story had been one of consistent achievement, and the Plan had been designed for Australia.

“Our Plan continues the policies and initiatives that we have already put in place and that have proven to be successful, while preserving existing industries and jobs, and supporting regional Australia,” Minister Taylor said.  “It will not shut down coal or gas production, or require displacement of productive agricultural land.

“Between 2005 and 2021, Australia’s emissions fell by 20.8 per cent, outpacing the reductions of the United States, Canada and New Zealand, and every other major commodity exporting nation in the world. The most recent forecast shows we will cut our emissions by up to 35 per cent by 2030.

“Under our Plan, the Technology Investment Roadmap and global trends will see Australia reduce its emissions by 85 per cent by 2050. We are committed to closing the gap to net zero over the next three decades in a way that is consistent with Liberal Party and National Party values.

“Our Plan is built on a set of key principles; the most important being technology, not taxes. Unlike Labor, we won’t introduce a carbon tax that drives Australian jobs overseas and punishes the most vulnerable in our community through higher prices for electricity and other essentials.”

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