House debates

Monday, 17 August 2009

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009; Renewable Energy (Electricity) (Charge) Amendment Bill 2009

Consideration in Detail

8:41 pm

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I move opposition amendments (1) to (13) together:

(1)    Clause 2, page 2 (table item 3), omit the table item, substitute:

3.  Schedule 2

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

[commencement of exemptions for trade exposed activities]

(2)    Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 14), after item 3, insert:

3A  At the end of section 21

Add:

        (4)    Certificates must only be created for the bona fide installation of a solar water heater intended to remain in its original configuration and location for the life of the unit.

        (5)    Certificates must only be created for the installation of a solar water heater having a volumetric capacity of not more than 700 litres.

[creation of certificates for solar water heaters]

(3)    Schedule 1, page 5 (after line 14), after item 7, insert:

7A  After paragraph 39(3)(a)

Insert:

           (aa)    for a year after 2014 and before 2031—the required GWh of emerging renewable energy source electricity for the year; and

[emerging renewable energy source electricity]

(4)    Schedule 1, page 6 (before line 1), after item 8, insert:

8C  At the end of Division 2 of Part 4

Add:

40A Required GWh of emerging renewable energy source electricity

        (1)    The required GWh of emerging renewable energy source electricity for a year is set out in the following table:

Required GWh of emerging renewable energy source electricity

Year

GWh

2015

1375

2016

2875

2017

4375

2018

5875

2019

7375

2020

8875

2021

8875

2022

8875

2023

8875

2024

8875

2025

8875

2026

8875

2027

8875

2028

8875

2029

8875

2030

8875

        (2)    The required GWh of emerging renewable energy source electricity for a year specified in subsection (1) is a component of the required GWh of renewable source electricity for that year specified in subsection 40(1).

        (3)    The following table sets out the emerging baseload technologies and their features that qualify as providing emerging renewable energy source electricity for the purposes of subsection (1):

Type of technology

               Features

Solar thermal energy or Solar concentrator energy

evacuated-tube collectors

parabolic-trough collectors

dish/engine systems

power towers

transpired collectors (heating)

Geothermal energy

flash steam power plants

dry steam power plants

binary cycle power plants

direct use geothermal (hot water systems)

geothermal heat pumps (heating)

Ocean thermal energy

closed cycle electricity conversion systems

open cycle electricity conversion systems

hybrid systems (a combination of closed and open cycle systems)

Tidal energy

Wave energy conversion systems:

channel systems

float systems

oscillating water column systems

Biofuels

bioethanol

biodiesel

methane (produced by anaerobic digestion)

pyrolysis oil

Biopower (or Biomass power)

direct-fired biopower plants

co-firing biopower plants

gasification (e.g. Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) coal-based power generation)

        (4)    The regulations may provide for additional emerging baseload technologies to be added to the table in subsection (3).

        (5)    A generation unit for a technology listed in subsection (3) must be 1 MW capacity or greater to qualify as emerging baseload capacity capable of providing emerging renewable energy source electricity for the purposes of subsection (1).

        (6)    The regulations must make provision for the inclusion of emerging renewable energy source electricity in relation to:

             (a)    the acquisition of electricity by a liable entity;

             (b)    the creation and transfer of certificates;

             (c)    the calculation of the renewable power percentage for a year;

             (d)    the required renewable energy of a liable entity for a year;

             (e)    the surrender of certificates by a liable entity for a year

              (f)    the renewable energy certificate shortfall of a liable entity for a year.

[emerging renewable energy source electricity]

(5)    Schedule 2, item 2, page 7 (lines 14 to 16), omit the definition of emission-intensive trade-exposed activity, substitute:

emission-intensive trade-exposed activity means an activity that is taken to be an emission-intensive trade-exposed activity under the regulations.

[trade exposed activities]

(6)    Schedule 2, item 3, page 7 (lines 17 to 21), omit the item.

[trade exposed activities]

(7)    Schedule 2, item 8, page 8 (after line 15), after section 38A, insert:

38AA Regulations in relation to emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities

        (1)    The regulations must determine the activities that are emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities for the purpose of a liable entity receiving a partial exemption for a year that is used in working out the liable entity’s renewable energy certificate shortfall for that year under section 38.

        (2)    Regulations made for the purpose of subsection (1) must commence on or before 1 January 2010, which must be after the end of the disallowance period for the regulations (subject to section 42 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003).

        (3)    In this section:

disallowance period for regulations means the period:

             (a)    beginning on the earliest day on which the regulations are laid before a House of the Parliament in accordance with section 38 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003; and

             (b)    ending on the day on which 15 sitting days of each House of the Parliament have passed since the regulations were laid before the particular House of the Parliament.

[trade exposed activities]

(8)    Schedule 2, item 8, page 8 (line 17), section 38B, omit “The”, substitute “(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the”.

[consequential – trade exposed activities – aluminium industry and food processing industry (sheet 5868)]

(9)    Schedule 2, item 8, page 8 (after line 22), at the end of section 38B, add:

        (2)    If the aluminium production industry is determined to be an emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity in regulations made under subsection 38AA(1), the partial exemption of an aluminium producer is to be calculated to be equal to 90% of the producer’s total acquisition of electricity during the relevant year.

[trade exposed activities – aluminium industry]

(10)  Schedule 2, item 8, page 8 (after line 22), at the end of section 38B, add:

        (3)    Regulations made under subsection 38AA(1) must determine a food processing activity, to the extent that it is trade-exposed, to be an emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity. The partial exemption of an emissions-intensive trade-exposed food processing activity for 2010 and any later year is to be calculated to be equal to 90% of the additional renewable source electricity acquisition obligation of the activity during the relevant year.

        (4)    In subsection (3):

additional renewable source electricity acquisition obligation means the amount of renewable source electricity that the activity is required to acquire under this Act after the commencement of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2009 in addition to the amount of renewable source electricity that the activity was required to acquire under this Act before the commencement of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2009.

[trade exposed activities – food processing industry]

(11)  Schedule 2, item 8, page 8, (line 23), omit “Authority’s”, substitute “Regulator’s”.

[Regulator to manage partial exemptions for trade exposed activities]

(12)  Schedule 2, item 8, page 8 (line 23) to page 9 (line 9), omit “Authority” (wherever occurring), substitute “Regulator”.

[Regulator to manage partial exemptions for trade exposed activities]

(13)  Schedule 2, item 14, page 10 (line 11) to page 11 (line 29), omit “Authority” (wherever occurring), substitute “Regulator”.

[Regulator to manage partial exemptions for trade exposed activities]

The coalition clearly and strongly supports the passage of a 20 per cent renewable energy target for Australia. We believe in the vision of solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, wind and other emerging technologies. We also believe that it is possible to improve this legislation, so for that reason we propose six amendments today. One of those amendments in relation to the renewable gas source, otherwise known as waste coalmine gas, has in large part been met by the government. We accept those changes, and I will speak to the government’s amendment in particular. We thank them for that consideration and we therefore withdraw our amendment. We believe that more could be done, but that will be for discussion between the industry and the government. We will support the industry in that. Today we have guaranteed a future for 400 jobs and we have guaranteed the beginning of the saving of 90 million tonnes of CO2.

There are five other remaining amendments which are encompassed within this package. Firstly, we seek a full and complete decoupling of the energy intensive sector from the emissions trading scheme. I believe that there may have been some in good faith misunderstanding in negotiations that the government may well be willing to consider. I advocate very strongly that what we have presented is critical to our support of this bill. What we propose is very simple—that the decoupling process ensures that all recognised emissions-intensive trade-exposed sectors are covered under the renewable energy legislation, under either the 90 per cent or the 60 per cent exemption category, but that the date on which that coverage will be provided will not be tied or coupled in any way to the emissions trading scheme and that the commencement will not be linked but will begin on 1 January. So there will be no trigger from the CPRS and no delay in commencement. If that is met, it will go a very large way to meeting the concerns of the opposition. I commend these amendments most strongly to the government and I stress how important they are. Otherwise, key sectors will remain uncovered and there will be a significant risk. If this amendment is passed then we can make real progress in getting the legislation passed over the next few days.

The second of our outstanding amendments is in relation to aluminium. What we seek is very simple. We seek to ensure that the 35½ thousand gigawatt hours of new energy carries with it a 90 per cent exemption for the aluminium sector, because it is perhaps the most energy-intensive and trade-exposed sector of all. Because the margins are thin, those jobs could pass. We also seek to ensure that the first 9½ thousand gigawatt hours, because of changes in world circumstances and because of the threat of what might happen in other conditions, will now be covered. This is also very significant to us. These concerns in relation to the aluminium sector must be underlined as being extremely important. I note, however, that we have had good-faith discussions. I thank both the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Wong, and the minister assisting the minister. We are making progress on these issues.

Food processing is also an extremely important issue. We want to see progress which will guarantee security for the food processing sector. In addition—I will speak more about this in the second round of discussions—we wish to ensure that a loophole in relation to the heat pump sector is dealt with. We see that there is the multiplication of units and that they are effectively being given away under a subsidy which was never intended. It began under us, it has been distorted during the current year and now it is time to close that loophole. The last area is in relation to emerging technologies. We are deeply concerned about a crowding-out effect. I will address that in more detail in the coming five-minute period. Very simply, we want to see that there is banding—(Time expired)

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