In an announcement by Bill Shorten, there will be a $10 billion capital injection for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to boost investment in renewable energy projects. The announcement alaso covered a new $5bn fund to upgrade Australia’s transmission and distribution systems.
Mr Shorten said Labor will advance micro-economic reform by making $20,000 grants available to manufacturers who need advice on how to improve their competitiveness and reduce their energy waste.
The 10-year plan aimed at cutting pollution, delivering cheaper prices, and creating thousands of new jobs in the renewable energy sector will guide Labor.
The policy is founded on a 50 per cent renewable energy target and the goal of reducing emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
Mr Shorten also revealed that Labor will commit $100 million to the creation of a system of new community power networks to help boost localised renewable energy projects.
The centrepiece of the new ALP plan is to install one million new household battery storage systems by 2025 to assist Australian homes to “save over 60% of their electricity bill”.
“Solar panels, plus battery storage, are the conservative, commonsense option,” Mr Shorten said. ‘What can be more conservative than storing energy?”
“Power generated during the day, when perhaps the parents are at work, the kids are at school and there’s little demand for energy, can be stored and put to use in the evening”.
“It just means, I’m pleased to say, the end of that silly slogan about solar not working when the sun isn’t shining”.
The battery plan would commence in 2020 and provide a $2000 rebate for households with an income of less than $180,000. The rebate will be limited to one battery system per home and will not be available for households that have already received the subsidy through state based schemes.
“Batteries will have to meet the highest safety and product standards, and installers will have to be licensed electricians with additional specialised training, and we’ll provide $10 million to boost the Clean Energy Regulator’s auditing and inspection regime … I will always insist on the strongest possible workplace health and safety standards” Mr Shorten said.
Mr Shorten said the new $5bn fund proposed by Labor would help “facilitate and finance essential upgrades” to key energy infrastructure, including the upgrading of interconnectors across Victoria and NSW and the construction of new ones like a second connection across the Bass Strait.
The Electrical Services Union backed Labor’s energy policy today but said they wanted Mr Shorten to go further and return all electricity networks to public ownership.
“The ALP’s announcement will go a long way to improving the energy industry from the perspective of jobs, emissions and costs,” ETU secretary Allen Hicks said.
“We believe if Labor holds to this investment strategy policy, it will go far in supercharging Australia as renewable energy leader. If delivered properly, by licenced electricians, the public can be confident it will be done safely and will deliver good job opportunities into the future.”
“But the ETU will continue to campaign to see our electrical networks returned to full public ownership.”