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Greens to spend $265m on community-owned renewable energy projects  

Credit:  Paul Karp | The Guardian | 3 June 2016 | www.theguardian.com ~~

The Greens will announce that they will spend $265.2m on community-owned renewable energy projects, including allowing these to generate tax-free profits from the electricity created.

The Greens energy spokesman, Adam Bandt, will announce the four-year package on Saturday in North Fitzroy at an apartment block seeking to establish a community-owned renewable project.

The Greens plan to create a $150m community energy start-up fund for 50 projects. The money will go towards planning, development, part of the capital costs and two years of operational funding.

They will spend $102.9m on community groups, schools and other local institutions to invest in solar panels and storage, including some capital costs.

The policy proposes allowing households and businesses to generate tax-free profits from their investment in community-owned clean energy. This will be capped at 150% of the annual average household electricity consumption and cost $4.3m over four years.

The Greens also want to fund a network for community organisations to share information about renewable projects and have reiterated their opposition to regulatory barriers to such ventures.

Bandt said: “The Greens want Australia to become a renewable energy powerhouse.

“Not everyone is able to put solar on their home but by investing in community-owned renewable projects they are still able to be part of the solar revolution,” he said.

“Australians are fed up with their energy companies. They want to take control of their electricity bills and do their bit to turn Australia’s energy system from one of the dirtiest in the world to one of the cleanest and help tackle climate change.”

Labor has promised $98m for community power hubs, which it said would give people who don’t own their own roofs access to solar power.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Labor climate change spokesman, Mark Butler, said: “While the rest of the world added 2m jobs in renewable energy over the last two years, Australia went backwards and lost over 2,000.

“It is in everyone’s interest that confidence be restored, and that small-scale renewables be encouraged. Not just so that all Australians can have equal access to lower electricity bills, but also to secure jobs and lower carbon emissions for the economy as a whole.”

Labor has also promised that, if elected, the federal government will source 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

It has set a target for Australia to be using 50% renewable energy by 2030, compared with the Greens’ target of 90%.

In May, the Greens pledged a five-year support package for battery storage technology that would be rolled out to 1.2m homes and 30,000 businesses, estimated to cost $2.9bn.

Source:  Paul Karp | The Guardian | 3 June 2016 | www.theguardian.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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