As the world wakes up to the challenges of producing energy in sustainable ways, Australia’s government just voted to slow things down. New legislation to cut the renewable energy target passed Federal Parliament tonight.
The Coalition Government and Labor agreed to reduce the original 41,000GW/h target down to 33,000 gigawatt hours. Their explanation is that the overall demand for energy has reduced, so the target can be reduced, but it’s also another way to delay the inevitable. Australia is fortunate enough to collect massive amounts of free energy from the sun and in many parts of the continent, has plentiful wind which is great for wind turbines and water flows that can be used for hydro electricity.
The Senate vote was 41 to 14, in other words but a large majority. The discussion around changing the renewable target has been in discussion for several months. Back in 2001, but had since been updated by Labor.
The plan was to have at least 20% of Australia’s energy produced by solar or wind by 2020. Calculated at the time as being 41,000 gigawatt hours of electricity.