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Australian Parliament Votes For 20% Renewables by 2020!

August 21, 2009

From Point Carbon:

Australia will be required to generate 20 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The country’s parliament voted in favour of the target, which will oblige utilities to use wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy sources to generate a fifth of the country’s power demand, up from 8 per cent currently.

According to news reports, the bill only got the backing of the Liberals – the main opposition party – after the government agreed to boost government assistance to industries that are big users of electricity.

The Labor government also introduce safeguards for existing investment in the coal mining industry in order to get the backing of the centre-right Liberals.

Last week, the Liberals in the Senate voted against Australia’s landmark carbon trading bill, arguing that it would harm extractive industries that are a mainstay of the country’s economy.

The Greens also rejected the government’s plans for carbon trading, arguing that they did not go far enough to cutting emissions from the country’s power stations, mines, smelters and factories.

The government had proposed to introduce a carbon emissions trading scheme in 2011 and cut the country’s emissions by 5-25 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, with the final figure dependent on whether there is a comprehensive global climate deal.

The government may submit a revised form of the bill to parliament later in the year, or according to some commentators, may even call an early general election in a bid to get a workable majority in both the House of Representatives and the senate.

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