More than a year ago, then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced his government’s intention to roll out 100,000 electric vehicles by 2021.
Since then, the rollout has been delayed by a number of technical issues, including issues with batteries and the rollout of charging stations.
But the Government has now made it clear that the target of 100,00 electric vehicles in 2021 will be met.
That’s despite the fact that the Australian Automobile Association says more than 10,000 EVs are on the road at the moment.
This week, The Australian reported that the Government had taken the unprecedented step of cancelling the company’s lease on the government-owned $2 billion Carmichael gas-fired power station at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.
That lease was due to expire in 2026, but the Government says it can’t continue with it unless the lease is extended.
The ABC has been told that the lease was extended in the hope of saving some money.
The decision to cancel the lease comes as the Government looks to renew the lease of the gas-powered station for another two years.
The Government says that while the lease has expired, it is still committed to using renewable energy sources for electricity generation.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Communications and Information said that if there are any additional concerns over the lease, the Government would look at those.
But that is unlikely to be the case given that the Renewable Energy Target is set to be introduced in 2019, meaning that the Federal Government is already committing to the target, and it has already committed to the carbon price for the next five years.
The Federal Government says the target is the “most ambitious in the history of the Commonwealth”, and that the scheme will deliver a $10 per tonne reduction in emissions by 2030.
The Australian Financial Reviews has spoken to an employee of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), who told us that while a significant portion of the power station is currently operational, it will be decommissioned and that decommissioning is expected to begin in 2022.
AEMA’s spokesperson said that while decommissionment is not expected to take place until 2022, decommission would still occur during the next two years, during which time AEMO will be able to decommission the power plant.
So what’s the point of all this?
The Government’s decision to pull out of the Carmichael lease comes just months after the Federal Opposition said it would end the emissions trading scheme by 2025.
But the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has since changed his position and said that the emissions trade scheme will continue in perpetuity, despite the emissions reductions being delayed.
“The emissions trading system will continue to operate until 2035, as long as there are significant emissions reductions to be achieved,” he said in an interview with ABC Radio.
“It will continue because it’s the best way to achieve the targets.”
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced in 2013 to encourage people to reduce their energy use, and the Government is one of the largest emitters of CO2 emissions in Australia.
“The RHI is a very successful program, which is why we’ve got it,” Mr Hunt said.
“That’s why we’re looking at renewing it.”
Mr Hunt has previously stated that the RHI was “a great thing” for the economy, but he has previously said that he would not be re-elected to the role.
While the Federal government is in favour of ending the emissions market, Mr Hunt has also said that it is not a bad thing for the country.
“[It’s] a wonderful thing for our economy,” he told the ABC.
What do you think?
Do you think the Government should have kept the Carmikee lease?
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