Ian Cronshaw, General Manager, Domestic Energy and Environment Branch, Australian Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

The Australian government recognises the need to ddress the critical issue of global warming and has been an active participant in processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol which was agreed in December 1997. Consistent with this commitment, various Commonwealth and State government agencies have implemented measures with a view to limiting the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. A number of these measures focus on promoting renewable energy sources.

Australia is committed to accelerating the uptake of renewable energy in grid-based electricity. By the year 2010, electricity retailers and other large electricity buyers will be required to source an additional 2% of their electricity from renewable or specified waste-product energy sources. It is expected that this measure will increase the share of eligible electricity in the total electricity supply from 10.510.7% in 1996/1997 to 12.512.7% in 2010, an increase requiring over 9,000 GWh in electricity produced from eligible sources.

In addition to accelerating the upta ke of eligible energy te chnologies, the 2% target aims to provide an on-going base for the development of commercially- competitive renewable energy and contribute to the development of export opportunities in international energy markets .

Other renewable energy initiatives, specifically targeted at addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, include:

  • a $20 million Renewable Energy Equity Fund to provide venture capital for the commercialisation of renewable energy technology (where $ is the Australian dollar);
  • a $30 million Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program for strategically important renewable energy projects;
  • a $10 million Renewable Energy Showcase Fund to support leading-edge renewable energy projects;
  • a $19 million Household PV System Grant Program (over three years) to assist householders in meeting the costs of installing photovoltaic systems;
  • a $16 million Green Power Investment Program (over three years) to boost the commercialisation of renewable energy;
  • a $198 million Remote Power Generation Program (over three years) to convert remote electricity users to renewable energy systems.

With ten years of operations behind us, Australias CADDET team will continue to supplement government initiatives by seeking and disseminating high quality information on proven domestic and international renewable energy technologies. The team is looking forward to the challenge of playing its part in increasing the share of renewables in our energy mix and encouraging a strong renewable energy industry over the next decade and beyond.

The CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter is a quarterly magazine published by the CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy at ETSU, UK.

The articles published in the Newsletter reflect the opinions of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official view of CADDET.

Enquiries concerning the Newsletter should be addressed to Pauline Toole, Editor, CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy, ETSU, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1235 432968, Fax: +44 1235 433595.