12 September 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

Conservation Council welcomes boost for renewables

The Conservation Council ACT Region today welcomed the ACT Government’s announcement to commission an additional 250MW of renewable electricity to ensure that the ACT continues to meet its 100% renewable electricity targets into the future.

“In advance of the release of the ACT Government’s strategy on zero emissions by 2045, it is already clear that the ACT’s consumption of electricity will need to increase if we are to have any chance of meeting the 2045 target, so it’s helpful that the ACT Government is planning ahead,” said Helen Oakey, Executive Director.

“Once the current 100% renewable electricity target is met later this year, approximately 60% of our residual greenhouse emissions will be from the transport sector, and approximately 20% will be from gas used to heat homes and cook with.

“Moving away from using gas and oil will drive further electrification in the ACT, and combined with an increase in population, means the Government will need to source more renewable electricity.

“The good news is that the ACT has experience delivering renewable electricity to meet demands, as undertaken in the large-scale feed in tariffs auctions held in recent years.

“Canberrans are now awaiting the Government’s full plan about how they will drive a transition from greenhouse emitting fuels such as gas and oil, and take Canberrans on the journey towards net zero emissions.

“Switching from gas to electricity for home heating and cooking is something that people can start to think about now, using new technologies such as induction cooktops and heat pumps (split systems).

“Gas ducted heating can be expensive to run, and requires having two connection fees for a house, pushing up household energy costs.

“Yet planning law still mandates that gas infrastructure is rolled out to all new developments in the ACT, despite the fact that gas is a polluting fossil fuel, and that new energy-efficient houses can be heated easily and efficiently using renewable electricity.

“If the ACT Government is commissioning new renewable electricity from solar and wind in an effort to reduce emissions, then they should also stop the roll out of gas to new housing developments in the ACT.

“The key thing to remember is that gas and oil are greenhouse polluting fuels, whereas electricity can be generated using renewable technologies. Reaching zero emissions means we need to rapidly phase out using fossil fuels, and electrify transport and home heating as part of the Government’s deceleration of a climate emergency and commitment to secure a safe climate future,” said Ms Oakey.

ENDS

For further information or interviews contact:

Helen Oakey, Executive Director, Conservation Council ACT Region
[email protected]
0402 052 777