Policy Watch: Vic Labor pledge to keep efficiency scheme as energy debate heats up 

The Victorian Labor party has introduced amendments to the Napthine government’s bill to scrap the successful Victorian Energy Efficiency Target. Labor’s amendments would prevent the government from cutting next year’s energy efficiency target and abolishing the scheme at the end of 2015 … Continue reading Policy Watch: Vic Labor pledge to keep efficiency scheme as energy debate heats up 

Victoria need ideas not ideology

Victoria was poised to become a global hub for clean technology with key policies in place to drive emissions reductions and attract investment in a green industrial revolution. Yet the change of government in November 2010, writes Peter Hansford, resulted in an abandonment of key climate change policies and the vision of Victoria becoming a global leader in cleantech. Victoria’s ability lead is not lost. It can be reclaimed but only if politicians are open to ideas not ideology.

First_Solar_Ohio_manufacturing_plant_Image_First_SolarIn 2010, the Victorian government released a climate change white paper which included a cleantech industry development strategy which sought to position Victoria as a top five global leader in clean, innovative technologies and climate solutions.

At the time Victoria’s cleantech sector was rapidly emerging with a number of leading firms supplying domestic and international markets.  One analysis of the cleantech sector identified that there were 1,273 firms employing 23,200 people in Victoria.

As the author of the strategy I was confident that the prospect of increasing jobs, exports and investments would excite the government to invest a small amount of money to accelerate the job creation opportunities presented.

The background work conducted identified a suite of potential action areas: Energy (particularly renewables, CCS and smart grids); Urban Planning, Design and Construction; Water; Food and Farming; Materials (including efficient materials management), Advanced Manufacturing; e-Vehicles; use of ICT and Fast Broadband; and a range of Services Industries including carbon market services, and international education. Continue reading “Victoria need ideas not ideology”

Cut emissions and save on household bills

On November 16, BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group and Yes 2 Renewables will present an Energy Futures Forum in Seymour. The event is already sparking interest in the region which is the site of the proposed Cherry Tree Range wind farm.

Victoria stands at a crossroads. Will our energy future be defined by more business-as-usual: fossil fuels, pollution, the threat of fracking and climate change? Or will we transition to clean renewable energy sources?

Energy efficiency can make the transition to renewables quicker and easier while saving householders on their power bills. Trent Hawkins, lead author of Beyond Zero Emissions’ Zero Carbon Buildings Plan, will outline four ways Victorians can get energy smart, save money and reduce carbon emissions. Original article published by BEAM. 

Trent Hawkins, project leader of the Beyond Zero Emissions Zero Carbon Buildings Plan.

Households in Seymour and surrounds can reduce their carbon emissions to zero with four simple steps.

Trent Hawkins, Project Director of the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan, will talk about how this can be done at the Energy Futures Forum in Seymour on November 16.

The four steps are going gas free, fixing the building envelopes, installing energy efficient appliances and lighting, and rooftop solar to power every home.

“Every house in Australia could be emissions free in ten years if we implemented this plan”, said Mr Hawkins.

With this approach, households would produce more electricity than they use, but using less on a daily basis than they do now.

After three years of working on the Plan at environmental think tank Beyond Zero Emissions, he proposes that it is not only possible but that it is realistic and financially viable. Continue reading “Cut emissions and save on household bills”