Senate debates

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Questions without Notice

Renewable Energy

2:38 pm

Photo of Nick MinchinNick Minchin (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance and Administration) Share this | Hansard source

The interest of the Greens in renewable energy is acknowledged. Indeed, I would ask the Greens to acknowledge the extent to which the government has poured considerable resources into the advance in research in renewable technologies in this country—and recently we applied a significant amount of money to a solar power station in Victoria. But it is quite clear, and I am sure the Greens would acknowledge this, that baseload power to run factories around the country and homes and to provide on tap the sort of electricity which Australians now require is really only possible, without greenhouse gas emissions, from nuclear and clean coal. That is the advice from the Chief Scientist to the government: that, in terms of the known technologies and what is capable of producing baseload power for this country, you only have available to you clean coal—and we welcome the fact that the Labor Party have now come on board in relation to clean coal and made it clear that they intend, if in government, to put more resources into clean-coal research. That has been the emphasis that we have placed on this for many years, that one of the keys to the control of greenhouse gas emissions has got to be clean coal research. The other is of course nuclear. There are many countries around the world relying on nuclear power and not producing any greenhouse gas emissions as a consequence. Again, the Greens are like the Labor Party and, while I am not allowed to use the ‘h’ word, can I say both parties—


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