The Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA) welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government to place a price on carbon.
The CVGA Chairman, Keith Reynard, said “The CVGA understands that a carbon price will help to stimulate renewable energy generation in regional Australia and is likely to lead to many development opportunities in this area”. While the detail is yet to be finalised, a carbon price is a cornerstone policy setting to enable renewable energy generation to become more viable. ”To fully stimulate the renewable energy sector, other policies such as renewable energy targets and feed in tariffs for small to medium scaled generators must continue to be supported” said Mr Reynard.
The CVGA has seen lots of rhetoric and extreme language about the impact of a carbon price on household electricity bills, but already we see that electricity prices are on the rise and set to double over the next 5 years based upon the current electricity distributor submissions to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). The price rises are independent of any price on carbon and are directly linked to the need to renew and upgrade our electricity infrastructure to keep pace with the increasing demand for electricity.
Mr Reynard said “The forced rolling brown outs in the lead up to Black Saturday illustrated that the existing infrastructure was not capable of handling the peak demands during extreme heatwave periods, which are likely to become more regular under climate change scenarios”.
”The impact of the increasing cost due to a carbon price is fairly minimal in comparison to the price rises for infrastructure upgrades and increasing costs of electricity generation. It is likely to vary from household to household, as people who may average 10kWh in their home per day will be insignificantly impacted, whereas many large houses that use 30-40kWh per day will realise a more significant cost penalty. This is consistent with the polluter pays principle” said Mr Reynard.
The CVGA is aware of 40 local communities in regional Victoria who are very keen to pursue greater autonomy in their own local clean energy generation and usage, rather than being locked in to a centralised generation system that sees the profits flow to offshore investors.
“A price on carbon will make the aspirations of these communities far more achievable and hopefully lead to local community ownership of small and medium scale energy generation capacity” said Mr Reynard. This model, which is being investigated by the CVGA, will lead to profits staying within the local economy and stimulating more employment opportunities locally.
The CVGA is aware this is a very complex issue and very few people understand the complex nature of energy supply, the energy market and the existing pressures driving our electricity prices up. Mr Reynard said “We would urge that all members of the public investigate this issue in detail to more fully understand the potential benefits to regional Australians”.
About the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA) The CVGA, with a membership base of 14 municipalities and business and community organisations, is playing a key role in creating sustainable, climate aware communities and profitable, climate friendly economies in central Victoria. Our objectives are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to promote sustainable development and economic growth throughout the region.