Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Clean energy a sound long term investment

Clean energy is not getting a free kick. Funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will not be a slush fund – it’s a loan. Clean energy will be challenged to deliver viable, cost-effective solutions. There will be risk, and not all investments will succeed.

But if investors around the world have got it right in their support for clean energy, it should also make a lot of money.

An insurance policy with no regrets, Climate Spectator, 12 Aug 11, Kane Thornton Opponents of the carbon price package will tell you it is a risk to our economy and puts Australia at a competitive disadvantage: in fact, the opposite is true.

Our historical advantage in low cost, high carbon pollution forms of energy is changing. The price of these fossil fuel-based forms of energy is increasing significantly, particularly as the export price for gas and coal increases.

The cost to generate electricity with traditional forms of fossil fuel based energy can only go up, while generating electricity from clean energy can only come down.

Australia is already being left behind in the clean energy race by countries like China and India. These countries are investing heavily in renewable energy technologies and both plan to roll out carbon trading schemes by 2015.

Last year, a record $243 billion was invested in renewable energy globally, more than conventional energy; China alone sank $51 billion into clean energy.

C.H. Tung, former chief executive of Hong Kong, told the New York Times recently: “China was asleep during the Industrial Revolution. She was just waking during the Information Technology Revolution. She intends to participate fully in the Green Revolution”.

The Chinese understand that developing renewable energy today will make it easier and cheaper to roll out in years to come. They are already ahead of the game in manufacturing solar panels and wind technology.

Australia has an abundance of renewable energy resources, but can do more to take full advantage of them. Wind, household solar, bio-energy and hydro are proven and ready to roll out now, along with the acceleration of energy efficiency across all sectors.

A price on carbon – endorsed this week by the International Monetary Fund – supported by Australia’s existing 20 per cent renewable energy target, can accelerate these technologies and drive emissions reductions in the energy sector.

But we also need to be investing in the technologies of the future – geothermal, large-scale solar and wave and tidal energy. We need to support these technologies now to ensure they are given every opportunity to be part of Australia’s energy mix in the future….

Just as investors in energy generation take a very long-term view – 10, 20 and 30 years – so must Australian policy makers. Any sensible energy policy must include support for renewable energy……

Clean energy is not getting a free kick. Funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will not be a slush fund – it’s a loan. Clean energy will be challenged to deliver viable, cost-effective solutions. There will be risk, and not all investments will succeed.

But if investors around the world have got it right in their support for clean energy, it should also make a lot of money.

Australia cannot afford to be left behind in the global clean energy race – a race with $253 billion in prize money last year, and many times that in years to come. The race has already started, but it’s not too late for Australia to catch up…

http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/clean-energy-insurance-policy-no-regrets

August 11, 2011 - Posted by | General News

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