Turnbull, Carr to launch 100% renewables plan for Australia

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In the midst of a Federal Election and with the major party leaders equivocating on climate change and a price on carbon, the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan will be launched at a free public forum in Sydney Town Hall on Thursday 12 August at 6.00 pm.

Hosted by the journalist and broadcaster, Quentin Dempster, the speakers will include:

· Malcolm Turnbull, MP for Wentworth
· Bob Carr, former NSW State Premier
· Scott Ludlam, Greens Senator for WA
· Matthew Wright, Executive Director, Beyond Zero Emissions
· Allan Jones, Sustainability Expert, City of Sydney
· A technical panel including Keith Lovegrove (Solar Thermal Group Leader, ANU), Lane Crockett (General Manager, Pacific Hydro), and Roger Dargaville (Energy Systems Analyst, Melbourne Energy Institute)

The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan shows that the technology required to move Australia to a 100 per cent renewable energy future within ten years is already commercially available. The only major obstacle to achieving this goal is the political will of the major parties to take us there, a point driven home by Melbourne Energy Institute Director Professor Mike Sandiford: “The technology required is already available, and the cost is not prohibitive. What is lacking is the political will and social drive to make it happen.”

The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan is a research collaboration between Beyond Zero Emissions and the University of Melbourne Energy Institute. The plan shows how cost and variability are not obstacles to achieving zero emissions within ten years, and that electrification of Australia’s transport system has got be part of the whole package.

Beyond Zero Emissions’ Sydney Convenor, Dr Adam Lucas, points out that the plan provides Australian governments with a blueprint for how to transition Australia away from its almost exclusive reliance on coal for electricity: “Australia is the biggest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Half of NSW’s emissions come from burning coal, and Australia’s coal exports double our overall emissions. This plan clearly demonstrates that we can generate clean electricity and tens of thousands of jobs by favouring renewables over dirty coal.”

Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director and lead author Matthew Wright says the new PM should seriously consider the Zero Carbon Australia’s findings when developing its climate policy: “Our research shows that baseload renewable energy is now available and that Australia can start building a renewable energy system right now. Australia needs a nation-building climate change project with the scale and vision of a Snowy Mountains Scheme for the 21st century. This approach can win the hearts and minds of Australians and put us on track to restore a safe climate. It’s in the country’s interest and in all the political parties’ electoral interests to do so,” says Wright.

The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan (ZCA Plan) will be made publicly available at this event and can be downloaded or purchased from the BZE and Melbourne Energy Institute websites, www.beyondzeroemissions.org and www.energy.unimelb.edu.au.

The plan will be launched at a free public forum incorporating a panel discussion from 6:00-8:00 pm on Thursday 12 August at Sydney Town Hall, 483 George St. The event is sponsored by the City of Sydney.