Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014

Bills Digest no. 35 2014–15

PDF version  [902KB]

WARNING: This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Dr Alexander St John, Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Section
Juli Tomaras, Law and Bills Digest Section
17 October 2014 

 

Contents

The Bills Digest at a glance

Purpose of the Bill

Structure of the Bill

Background

Committee consideration

Policy position of non-government parties/independents

Position of major interest groups

Financial implications

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Provisions of the Bill

Key issues

 

Date introduced:  19 June 2014

House:  House of Representatives

Portfolio:  Industry

Commencement:  On Royal Assent.

The Bills Digest at a glance

This Bills Digest examines the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014.[1]

What the Bill does

  • This Bill repeals the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011, which has the effect of abolishing the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), an independent statutory agency that provides financial assistance for renewable energy research and development.
  • It transfers all assets, liabilities and agreements of ARENA to the Department of Industry.

Why has the Government introduced the Bill?

The Government introduced the Bill as part of its 2014–15 Budget measures. It says that it wishes to discontinue spending on ARENA as part of a budget savings drive. Its indicated motivation for abolishing ARENA appears to be financial; the Government has not suggested at any point that ARENA is not performing its legislated functions effectively. On 12 May 2014 in an interview on ABC Radio, the Finance Minister, Senator Cormann was quoted as saying that ‘too many agencies’ were responsible for similar functions and needed to be cut back. He said that ‘this is about making government as efficient and effective as possible.’[2]

What the issues are

  • New research and development into renewable energy will not be funded by ARENA if the Bill is passed, and there are no announced programs that could effectively replace ARENA.
  • Some people argue that abolishing ARENA will unnecessarily throw away expertise gained in the first two years of the operation of ARENA, its Board and staff.[3]
  • Some people say that it is more effective for renewable energy research and development to be independent of the government of the day, and should be overseen by experts.[4]
  • Some people say that ARENA should also fund other low-emissions technology, not just renewable energy.[5]

Purpose of the Bill

The purpose of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014 (the Bill) is to repeal the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011[6] (the ARENA Act) to abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and its standing appropriation,[7] and transfer ARENA’s existing assets, liabilities and agreements to the Commonwealth.[8]

Structure of the Bill

The Bill has one Schedule, divided into two parts:

  • Part 1 repeals the ARENA Act, abolishing the entity of ARENA, its board, statutory officers and standing appropriation[9] and
  • Part 2 provides for transitional arrangements to transfer ARENA’s assets, liabilities and responsibilities to the Commonwealth.[10]

Background

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency was created by the ARENA Act, as a part of the then Gillard Government’s Clean Energy Futures Package.[11] Under the ARENA Act, ARENA’s functions are:

(a)   to provide financial assistance for:

        (i)        research into renewable energy technologies; or

        (ii)       the development, demonstration, commercialisation or deployment of renewable energy technologies;

        (iii)      the storage and sharing of information and knowledge about renewable energy technologies;

(b)   to enter into agreements for the purpose of providing financial assistance as mentioned in paragraph (a) and to administer such agreements;

(c)    to collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information and knowledge relating to renewable energy technologies and projects;

(d)   to provide advice to the Minister relating to renewable energy technologies, including advice about the following:

        (i)       improving the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies;

        (ii)       increasing the supply of renewable energy in Australia;

        (iii)      improving the development of skills in the renewable energy technology sector;

        (iv)      increasing the use of renewable energy technologies;

(e)   to liaise with State and Territory governments and other authorities for the purpose of facilitating renewable energy projects for which financial assistance is, or is proposed to be, provided as mentioned in paragraph (a);

(f)    any other functions that are prescribed by the regulations;

(g)   any other functions conferred on ARENA by this Act or any other Commonwealth law;

(h)   to do anything incidental to, or conducive to, the performance of the above functions.[12]

ARENA was set up as a separate statutory agency, with an independent board and legislated governance, probity and transparency measures.[13] Initially, $2.52 billion was appropriated to ARENA through a standing appropriation in the ARENA Act between 2012–13 and 2019–20; this was subsequently rescheduled and reduced slightly to $2.4 billion between 2012–13 and 2021–22.[14] Upon its establishment, ARENA absorbed the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy and was also given responsibility for administering some existing renewable energy and low-emissions technology programs which were then administered by the then-Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.[15] The Australian Solar Institute was subsequently merged into ARENA on 31 December 2012.[16]

The establishment of ARENA was based on a premise that renewable energy projects required long term, secure funding and support. ARENA provides financial assistance for research, development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy technologies. Recipients of funding are frequently university researchers, or private companies, or consortia of both. ARENA’s own programs consist of:

  • the Research and Development Program, which provides grants for early-stage research and development into renewable energy technologies. The first funding round of this program provided $21.5 million to the Australian National University, CSIRO, the University of New South Wales and the University of Technology, Sydney, for twelve different research projects developing mainly solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies[17]
  • the Emerging Renewables Program, which provides funding for projects or activities that develop renewable energy technology along the path to commercialisation. The range of projects funded by the ERP is diverse, from wave energy to geothermal to solar technologies. The ERP was a program of the former Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, being continued by ARENA[18]
  • Regional Australia’s Renewables, which aims to support ‘trials of renewable energy solutions, including hybrid systems, in regional and remote locations with the aim of increasing the use of these technologies for power generation once they become affordable.’[19] This program has not yet funded any projects
  • Integrating Renewables in the Grid, which is a project being run by ARENA itself. ARENA has commissioned a ‘stocktake’ to collate and publish information about ‘various trials and studies on integrating renewables into the grid that have been undertaken around Australia, as well as the most relevant international projects’[20]
  • the Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund, which ‘provides management expertise and makes equity investments in early-stage Australian renewable energy companies to help them overcome capital constraints, develop technologies, increase skills and forge international connections.’ The Fund has so far invested $16.1 million in four commercialisation and deployment projects[21]
  • Supporting High-value Australia Renewable Energy Knowledge; as an adjunct to ARENA’s research funding duties, ARENA is also tasked with the collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of information and knowledge relating to renewable energy technologies and projects. This program is not a funding initiative, but deals with ARENA’s approach to knowledge-sharing, including publishing information from ARENA‑funded projects.[22] Examples of ARENA’s knowledge sharing are shown in its ‘knowledge bank’ and
  • Accelerated Step-Change Initiative, designed to support large, exceptional programs that would sit outside normal ARENA funding guidelines. Programs to be supported should have the ‘potential to lower the cost or increase the use of renewable energy technologies in Australia in a way that is not currently being developed locally.’[23] It does not appear that any ASCI projects have yet been funded.

ARENA also has responsibility for a number of other ‘legacy’ programs inherited from the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, such as the Low-Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund and the Geothermal Drilling Program. Existing funding agreements for these programs are administered by ARENA, but these programs are all closed to new applications, meaning that ARENA has little ownership over these programs.[24]

ARENA is a separate statutory agency, relatively independent of the Department of Industry; it is overseen by its own Board (who must have expertise in a relevant discipline) and has its own reporting and governance structure. ARENA sets its own priorities for funding, creates its own work programs and operates under relatively limited direction from the responsible Minister.[25] This means that ARENA is relatively free from political interference, and it can operate with regard to long-term goals. ARENA also has a heavy focus on knowledge sharing, as it is required to compile and disseminate knowledge arrived at through the course of research it funds.[26]

Since its inception, ARENA says that it has committed to agreements totalling $940 million of ARENA funding, with an additional $1.5 billion in funding being co-invested by other parties. This funding is categorised into research and development (21 per cent), demonstration projects (33 per cent) and pre-commercial deployment projects (46 per cent).[27] As at May 2014, ARENA had more than 190 proposals, representing more than $7.7 billion in combined public and private sector investment still in the application process, reflecting the ‘scale of investment unlikely to go ahead’ if ARENA was abolished, according to the Chief Executive Officer of ARENA.[28]

The creation of ARENA, although connected with the Gillard Government’s Clean Energy Future package that also included the carbon pricing mechanism, enjoyed relatively bipartisan support. At the time, the then Coalition opposition expressed support for the creation of an independent agency with legislated corporate governance mechanisms.[29]

Unlike other parts of the Clean Energy package, the Coalition had not signalled prior to the election that it intended to abolish ARENA. Three months prior to the 2013 federal election, then shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, Ian Macfarlane, was quoted in the Australian Financial Review as saying that the Coalition ‘remained committed to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, known as ARENA, despite plans to axe the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation’.[30] Similarly, the Coalition’s final update on election policy costings did not suggest a cut or abolition of ARENA, except that $40 million of ARENA’s existing funding would be redirected to geothermal and tidal energy.[31]

However, both in opposition and since winning the 2013 election, the Coalition has been increasingly concerned by the state of the Commonwealth’s finances, which it describes as a ‘budget crisis’ and a ‘budget emergency’.[32] The first indication that ARENA’s funding was to be cut came in the 2013–14 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), when the Government announced a reduction in ARENA’s appropriation of $434.9 million between 2014–15 and
2016–17; this reduction of funding was legislated as part of the ‘carbon tax repeal’ package of legislation.[33]

In the lead-up to the 2014–15 Budget, the Government indicated that it was looking to achieve budget savings, and a key theme in the 2014–15 Budget was ‘all Australians making a contribution to fiscal repair.’[34] The National Commission of Audit, led by Tony Shepherd, recommended that ‘support for renewable energy research already comes through the Renewable Energy Target and potentially under the Government’s Direct Action Plan, so further support through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency should not be required.’[35]

The abolition of ARENA was announced in the 2014–15 Budget, with ‘savings from this measure [to] be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities’.[36] The Government’s indicated motivation to abolish ARENA is purely financial – it has not suggested at any point that ARENA is not performing its legislated functions effectively.[37] If the Bill is passed, responsibility for ARENA’s programs, and for investment in renewable energy research and development, will be passed to the Minister for Industry directly.[38] It is not clear if the Government intends to create any further programs for renewable energy research and development.

Committee consideration

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

The Bill has been referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, which reported on 4 September 2014. Details of the inquiry are at the inquiry webpage.[39]

The inquiry attracted 131 public submissions, with only two submissions supporting the proposed abolition of ARENA. These two were from Gas Energy Australia, a lobby group for retailers of liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas that do not benefit from ARENA’s programs, and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), who characterised ARENA as a ‘distorting subsidy’.[40]

The Committee’s report mainly summarised the findings of submissions, reflecting that almost all submitters opposed the Bill. The Committee noted that the abolition of ARENA would return $1.3 billion to the Budget, and that it felt that non-renewable technologies should not be excluded from ARENA’s remit.[41]

The Labor Party members of the Committee issued a dissenting report, noting that almost all submitters opposed the Bill, and in particular noted that ARENA’s independence was central to its transparency and efficiency.[42] The Australian Greens also issued a dissenting report, arguing that previous programs administered by departments of state had performed poorly, and ARENA had a far better success rate. The Greens also criticised the Committee’s decision to not hold public hearings during its inquiry.[43] Senator Nick Xenophon also issued a dissenting report, arguing for the retention of ARENA to enable the development of non-wind renewable technologies, such as the solar thermal power station proposed for Port Augusta in South Australia.[44]

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has concluded that the Bill does not appear to give rise to human rights concerns.[45]

Policy position of non-government parties/independents

The creation of ARENA in 2011 enjoyed relatively bipartisan support; it was introduced by the Gillard Labor Government, and enjoyed the support of the Greens and qualified support from the Coalition opposition.[46] At that time, Coalition shadow ministers highlighted that although the Coalition did not support all of ARENA’s proposed programs; it supported the establishment of an agency with a proper governance structure to administer support for renewable energy research and development.[47]

The Labor Party opposes the abolition of ARENA, and argues that ARENA is vital, in combination with the Renewable Energy Target and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to a ‘clean energy future’.[48] The Australian Greens also oppose abolishing or de-funding ARENA.[49]

The Palmer United Party opposes the abolition of ARENA, but was supportive of re-scheduling some of its funding.[50]

Senator Ricky Muir, of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, opposes the abolition of ARENA and reportedly said that:

… to save ARENA... I think I’ll be proud of that for the rest of my life.[51]

Senator Nick Xenophon also supports the retention of ARENA.[52]

Senator Bob Day of the Family First Party will likely support the Bill, having reportedly said in 2013 that all emissions reduction schemes including renewable energy should be scrapped because

... we should not be spending 1c on this silly notion of trying to reduce carbon dioxide… The Direct Action plans and renewable energy targets are just a massive rent-seeking exercise.[53]

Senator David Leyonhjelm will probably also support the Bill; the Liberal Democratic Party’s energy policy notes that the consequences of an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide ‘whether it is due to human influence and if anything can or should be done about it, as too uncertain to warrant government action’.[54]

To date there has been no indication as to how former Democratic Labor Party, now Independent Senator John Madigan will vote.

Independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan voted against the Bill.[55]

Position of major interest groups

Almost all stakeholder groups oppose the abolition of ARENA.

Government sector

The Governments of the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales have both expressed concerns about the abolition of ARENA. The ACT Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell, and the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, both provided submissions to the Senate inquiry supporting the work of ARENA.[56] Minister Roberts was particularly supportive of ARENA’s contribution to New South Wales:

NSW supports the role ARENA can play in this context and values the significant investment ARENA is making in NSW, which since its establishment in 2012 has grown to total $314m. ARENA has a unique and crucial role in providing funds to develop technologies and to improve investor confidence in renewable energy projects and strengthen those projects' chances of success.

ARENA is helping to lead Australian researchers, who are world-renowned in certain renewable technology segments, to extend their leadership, while bringing a renewed focus to demonstration and commercialisation of renewable energy solutions. By focusing on achieving commercial outcomes in Australia - using both local and foreign technology - ARENA will help to ensure that the Australian economy benefits fully from its renewable energy investments.[57]

The New South Wales Renewable Energy Advocate also expressed support for ARENA’s work:

ARENA has a unique and crucial role in providing funds to develop technologies and to improve investor confidence in renewable energy projects and strengthen those projects' chances of success.  ARENA bridges the commercial gap in the project development pipeline and facilitates commercialisation of projects that would not other[wise] be viable. By focusing on achieving commercial outcomes in Australia—using both local and foreign technology—ARENA will help to ensure that the Australian economy benefits fully from its renewable energy investments.[58]

The Lord Howe Island Board also wrote in support of ARENA’s activities:

To date the Board has been reliant on diesel power generation, which is a costly exercise as all diesel fuel has to be brought in on the small freight ship, which comes to the Island on a fortnightly basis. The Board has been pursuing renewable energy alternatives for the Island, which is a World Heritage site. Renewable energy options will provide greater certainty in power supply for the Island and are more sustainable.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has been of great assistance to the Lord Howe Island Board in supporting the move to a hybrid renewable energy system for a very remote and off-grid location. Without ARENA, the introduction of a renewable energy system to Lord Howe Island will not be possible.[59]

Academic bodies

Several university administrations have expressed concern at the plan to abolish ARENA. University research programs are beneficiaries of ARENA funding. Griffith University, Swinburne University of Technology and the Australian National University wrote official submissions, outlining how ARENA’s role is critical in their renewable energy research and teaching programs.[60] Deakin University, which does not receive any ARENA funding, was particularly eloquent in its support of ARENA’s work:

We believe that, regardless of any current challenges, we must relentlessly look to the future, building and investing today toward the creation of the Australia of tomorrow. With this as our mindset it is perhaps unsurprising that we see the proposed abolition of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as a regressive step.

Deakin University has not received any funding from ARENA. We oppose its abolition because, like our own institution, we see it as an instrument that Australians can use to create a secure economic future for our country. Regardless of any debate over the occurrence or cause of climate change, government investment in renewable energy (RE) technology makes eminent economic sense. This is particularly so in Australia, where private funds for research, development and proof-of concept deployment (RDD) at the level required for mid- and large-scale RE production are insufficient. This [is] precisely the area in which ARENA is so critical, supporting major deployment initiatives such as the Perth wave energy project, the Cooper Basin nonvolcanic geothermal project, and the Broken Hill and Nyngan solar photovoltaic power station projects – initiatives that allow Australia to develop and demonstrate RE expertise we can sell to the world.

The world is hungry for energy that is cheap, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. The ability to develop and commercialise RE technology can provide us with enormous international business opportunities - just when our traditional manufacturing sector is in decline. Australian researchers lead the world in many areas of RE technology, and there are others where we have the potential to go much further, energy storage being a critical example. However, without government investment in RDD, the bulk of the IP and jobs will go overseas – just as we have seen before.[61]

In addition, a number of departments of universities that receive ARENA funding, academics, support staff and research students have given considerable support to ARENA in their submissions.[62]

Business groups

There has been mixed reaction to the proposed abolition of ARENA from business groups. The Business Council of Australia argued for the retention of ARENA and its governance systems, whilst expanding its remit to a greater range of low-emissions technology activities. It said that:

There is a policy case for government-funded investment in RD&D of emerging low-emission and renewable energy technologies where the risks may be too great for the private sector to take on, on its own. In continuing to offer government support in this regard, Australia will be better placed to avoid suboptimal investment in our technological innovation and minimise the risk of Australia missing out on capturing the benefits of our ingenuity.[63]

However, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) supported the abolition of ARENA, on the grounds that:

Funding for ARENA simply provides one distorting subsidy on top of a range of others and further complicates the disjointed and incoherent policy approach to carbon emissions. ACCI believes that Australia’s carbon abatement policies need to be rationalised and consolidated into a coherent, integrated policy framework that is designed to achieve lowest cost abatement. The Emissions Reduction Fund provides a realistic prospect of achieving such an approach and provided it operates effectively should be the principal mechanism for limiting carbon emissions across the economy.[64]

It should be noted that the proposed Emissions Reduction Fund will be unlikely to be able to support early stage renewable energy research and development, as it will only be able to purchase quantified Australian Carbon Credit Units that will not be generated through research and development activities.[65] The ACCI also argued that other government initiatives, such as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Renewable Energy Target were doing the same job as ARENA.[66] However, these other programs do not support early stage research and development, rather they make it easier for commercial-stage renewable energy projects to get to market.

Renewable energy industry

Renewable energy industry stakeholders have been highly critical of the move to abolish ARENA. Many renewable energy businesses made submissions against the abolition of ARENA, as did renewable energy industry lobby groups like the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia and the Clean Energy Council.[67] The Clean Energy Council argued the case for ARENA’s efforts to promote jobs in Australia in its submission:

There is currently a capital cost difference between Australia and other parts of the world where deployment of solar is at higher levels. This is in large part due to a lack of experience with the technology of constructors within Australia, which will be overcome with ongoing deployment of solar projects within Australia. To capitalise on the full potential of large-scale solar technology the industry needs to deploy significant capacity in the local context. This will reduce costs and enable access to competitively priced finance. For example, First Solar says that local procurement accounts for 56.3 per cent of its spending on the Nyngan and Broken Hill projects, with more than 450 direct construction jobs expected to be created and over $66 million spent on local equipment.

Local procurement creates new business opportunities for manufacturers, which will be increasingly important over the next few years as activity in automotive manufacturing in Australia declines. For example, the Australian auto parts specialist IXL is branching into a new business with the opening of a new plant to assemble and deliver the mounting structures for the large-scale solar plants that are being built by First Solar in Broken Hill and Nyngan on behalf of AGL Energy. The Geelong-based company is facing the loss of a major strand of its business with the collapse of the Australian car manufacturing industry. The new plant in Salisbury South, South Australia will create about 40 local jobs and would not have been possible without support of ARENA.[68]

Other energy industry stakeholders

The Energy Supply Association of Australia, which represents major electricity generators and electricity and gas distribution businesses, argued for the retention of ARENA (although arguing that its funding should be limited to early stage research and development), pointing out that:

Funding from ARENA is currently underpinning research into energy technologies and demand management systems appropriate for off-grid regions. This is a fruitful avenue for RD&D given that off-grid energy use is growing (unlike demand for grid-supplied electricity). In these areas, the cost of generation using conventional fuel sources is relatively high so renewable technologies can provide generation at a lower cost differential compared to the cost in Australia’s major grids. Due to this smaller cost differential it is also an area where the further development of off-grid systems may have the potential to provide multiple benefits through reduced fuel costs, increased energy security and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Retaining ARENA could allow these projects to continue and see the benefits shared across the economy.[69]

The National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) was also supportive of ARENA’s work, concluding that:

The long-term security of Australia’s transport sector can only be achieved with viable alternative transport fuels. The research and development in the alternative fuels sector must be fully supported by all the mechanisms available to Government.  NRMA urges the Government to consider the implications for Australia’s transport sector if research into alternative fuels does not keep pace with the rest of the world. ARENA has a role contributing directly to Australia’s future energy security.[70]

Gas Energy Australia, an industry group representing producers and suppliers of gaseous hydrocarbon fuels (such as liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied or compressed natural gas), supports the abolition of ARENA, seemingly because gaseous fuels were excluded from ARENA’s activities. The group argued that:

… non-renewable low emission gas technologies can deliver better abatement performance than renewable technologies at a comparable and often lower cost…  there is no justification for government emissions reduction policies and programs that arbitrarily exclude non-renewable low emission gas technologies to the detriment of energy consumers and taxpayers.[71]

Financial implications

The Government’s indicated motivation for the abolition of ARENA is to save $1.3 billion over the period between 2014–15 and 2021–22.[72] By abolishing ARENA, it will no longer be able to enter into new funding agreements with project applicants, and uncommitted and unappropriated moneys will be returned to the consolidated revenue fund.

The Government considers that:

… we are facing a Budget emergency, and savings have to be achieved to return the Budget to surplus.[73]

Part 1 of the Bill repeals the ARENA Act, which contains ARENA’s standing appropriation.[74] Although this removes the availability of funding for new projects, the Government has indicated that it intends to continue to fund projects that have already executed a funding agreement with ARENA (but not those that have undecided funding applications at the time of Royal Assent).[75]

The net financial impact of the Bill will be to reduce Commonwealth expenses to 2021–22 by approximately $1.3 billion, although the actual reduction in expenditure will depend on the value of funding agreements executed by ARENA before the date of Royal Assent.

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights can be found at page three of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill. As required under Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth), the Government has assessed the Bill’s compatibility with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of that Act. The Government considers that the Bill is compatible.

Provisions of the Bill

The provisions of the Bill itself are relatively straightforward.

Part 1 of the Bill repeals the ARENA Act.[76] This has the effect of dismantling ARENA’s governance and financial arrangements by abolishing:

  • the ARENA body corporate[77]
  • the ARENA Board[78]
  • Committees of the ARENA Board[79]
  • the statutory positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of ARENA[80]
  • ARENA’s standing appropriation[81] and
  • ARENA’s reporting requirements which are additional to those specified in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (now superseded by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013).[82]

Part 2 of the Bill has the effect of transferring the assets, liabilities and responsibilities of ARENA to the Commonwealth.[83]

Items 3 and 4 transfer ARENA’s assets and liabilities that exist immediately before the commencement of the Bill directly to the Commonwealth, and provides that the Commonwealth becomes the successor in law to those assets and liabilities.[84] Item 5 provides for arrangements for assets of ARENA, which are acquired by the Commonwealth under item 3, to be accounted for in registers of assets of the Commonwealth.[85] Item 8 transfers all records or documents in ARENA’s possession to the Department of Industry at the time of commencement.[86]

Item 6 of the Bill attributes all actions of ARENA, done before the commencement time, to the Commonwealth, and item 7 makes the Commonwealth a party to any legal proceedings in place of ARENA.[87] Item 9 changes any reference to ARENA made in an instrument (a contract, notice, instruction, agreement, authority, deed, undertaking or other instrument with the exception of Acts and certain other prescribed instruments), to a reference to the Commonwealth.[88]

Item 10 provides that the Secretary of the Department of Industry must prepare a final report on the operation of ARENA for the Minister to present to Parliament, which may be included in the Department’s annual report.[89] However, this item requires only a ‘final report on the operations of ARENA’, which must be compliant either with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 or the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The extra reporting requirements expressed in section 70 of the ARENA Act (that require annual reports to list all projects funded by ARENA, their particulars and progress), are not specified to be included in the final report.

Item 11 provides that any officers or employees of ARENA are not automatically considered employees of the Commonwealth.[90] As item 9 could ostensibly be construed to transfer an individual’s contract of employment with ARENA to the Commonwealth, this item makes clear that such a transfer does not occur. The effect of this provision is that the employment of officers of ARENA (including Board members) no longer exists after the ARENA Act is repealed. However, ARENA has few staff of its own, so this provision will only materially affect a small number of persons.[91]

Item 12 provides that any applications to ARENA for funding that had not resulted in a signed funding agreement at the time of commencement lapse.[92]

Item 13 exempts the transfer of assets and liabilities of ARENA to the Commonwealth (‘exempt matters’) from any duty or tax under the law of a state or territory, and provides that the Minister may certify in writing that a matter is an exempt matter. Subclause 13(4) provides that such a certificate is prima facie evidence of a matter being exempt from state and territory taxation, and item 14 provides that certificates are valid unless the contrary can be established.[93]

Item 15 allows the Minister to delegate matters relating to the transition of ARENA to the Commonwealth to the Secretary or a Senior Executive Service employee in the Department of Industry.[94] Item 17 allows the Minister to make rules concerning transitional matters by legislative instrument.[95]

Item 16 provides that the Commonwealth will pay compensation if the operation of the proposed law would result in the acquisition of property other than on just terms.[96]

Key issues

Renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions

Deployment of renewable energy sources, particularly renewable electricity generation, has been a significant component of Australia’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, in an effort to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change. In the year to December 2013, emissions from electricity generation constituted 32.8 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.[97] Emissions from electricity generation in Australia peaked in 2008 and have been declining since then (see Figure 1). Since 2008, greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation have been reduced by 14 per cent, which is a significant decline considering that as recently as 2010, emissions from electricity were expected to increase by six per cent over the decade to 2020.[98]

Figure 1 – Emissions of greenhouse gases in Australia by sector, 2003–2013

Figure 1 – Emissions of greenhouse gases in Australia by sector, 2003–2013 

Source: Department of the Environment, Quarterly update of Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory: March 2014, Department of the Environment, Canberra, September 2014, p. 4, accessed 16 October 2014.

Although emissions from electricity generation peaked in 2008, actual electricity generation in Australia peaked in 2010–11, which suggests that the emissions intensity of electricity generation (that is, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per megawatt-hour of electricity produced) has decreased.[99] This has been observed particularly in the National Electricity Market (the electricity grid covering all states and territories except Western Australia and the Northern Territory). Analysis by consultancy firm pitt&sherry shows that since mid-2009, growth in electricity generation and emissions from generation have diverged for the first time, with electricity generation decreasing by six per cent (to mid-2014), but emissions from generation decreasing by around 15 per cent. This de-coupling of emissions growth from generation growth has been coincident with declining shares of brown and black coal in the market, and increasing shares of gas, wind and other renewable electricity generation.[100]

Figure 2 – Changes in electricity generation and emissions associated with electricity generation in the National Electricity Market June 2006 – June 2014

Figure 2 – Changes in electricity generation and emissions associated with electricity generation in the National Electricity Market June 2006 – June 2014 

Source: H Saddler, H Meade and M Johnston, cedex carbon emissions index – electricity emissions update – data to 30 June 2014, pitt&sherry, Canberra, July 2014, accessed 12 September 2014. Figure used with permission of the author.

Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, stationary energy combustion (such as the use of natural gas to provide heat) and transport together represent over 67 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. These are the sectors in which renewable or low-emissions energy sources have the potential to displace more emissions-intensive energy sources, and the areas in which ARENA funds research and development. For example, ARENA has funded projects that are investigating conversion of various renewable energy sources, such as algae, almond waste and other plant matter into liquid fuels for transport use. [101] ARENA has funded projects that investigate how renewable energy sources like solar power could be used to reduce the dependence of remote communities on diesel-powered electricity generation.[102] Some of ARENA’s projects look more broadly at how energy supply systems might evolve to incorporate more renewable energy sources, such as a recent study that examined where it might be cheaper in regional areas to deploy solar-thermal generation capacity, rather than invest in new electricity network infrastructure.[103]

If the Bill is passed and ARENA is abolished, it is unclear if further research and development in these areas will occur in Australia. Although it is possible that these activities could be undertaken by other entities where deemed necessary, the Government has not yet announced any replacement programs, or if renewable energy research will be incentivised at all.

Government support for renewable energy

Support for the deployment of renewable energy in Australia has been part of Australia’s official response to climate change since the early 1990s. Initiatives were relatively small, and included the Energy Research and Development Corporation, the Renewable Energy Promotion Program and the $4.8 million Renewable Energy Industry Program.[104] This was followed in November 1997 by the Howard Government’s national climate change strategy , which allocated $65 million to support renewable energy development through a number of different avenues, including loans and grants for research and development, venture capital and funding for ‘showcase projects’.[105] The strategy also introduced the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, which obligated electricity retailers and large users of electricity to source an additional two per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2010.[106] This was subsequently expanded by the Rudd Government to a target which was designed to be equivalent to generating twenty per cent of Australia’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.[107]

Government-sponsored research and development into renewable energy has been undertaken by a number of different bodies. Between 1996 and 2004, the Australian Co-operative Research Centre for Renewable Energy operated at Murdoch University.[108] CSIRO has undertaken renewable energy and development since its development of solar hot water systems in 1953;[109] most recently setting a world record in development of concentrating solar thermal generation.[110] The Commonwealth has also undertaken other programs on an ad‑hoc basis, such as the 2005 Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund and the 2008 Geothermal Drilling Program.[111] In 2009, the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy was established to take on a central advisory role in assessing renewable energy projects for funding and providing advice to the Minister on renewable energy development.[112]

The 2011 Clean Energy Futures package replaced ACRE with ARENA, passing the responsibility for funding projects from the Minister to the Board of ARENA, and providing a long-term, standing appropriation. ARENA was also given responsibility for administering all renewable energy research and development programs funded by the Government and charged with enhancing knowledge sharing in renewable energy research.[113] This meant that the range of measures to support renewable energy technologies provided assistance from basic research through to commercial deployment:

  • ARENA provided funding for research and development, knowledge sharing and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies
  • the Renewable Energy Target created a demand for renewably generated electricity
  • the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) provided concessional finance for commercial deployments of renewable energy technology and
  • the carbon pricing mechanism (also referred to as the ‘carbon tax’) enhanced the competitiveness of renewable electricity generation by imposing a price on greenhouse gas emissions, which renewable energy generators would not need to pay.

The Government has decided to abolish all of these measures, except for the Renewable Energy Target (RET). The carbon pricing mechanism was repealed in July 2014 and legislation is currently before the Parliament to abolish the CEFC. The Government has also indicated that it wishes to make changes to the RET.[114]

In all cases, the Government has concerns about the economic impost associated with the measures. ARENA represents direct budget expenditure, paid for by taxpayers, as its standing appropriation is funded from consolidated revenue.[115] The Renewable Energy Target is a cross-subsidy scheme, where generators of renewable energy are provided an economic incentive payment, paid for by electricity consumers.[116] The CPM imposed an additional taxation burden on entities that emitted significant levels of greenhouse gases.[117] Although the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is a for-profit Commonwealth company that is expected to have a neutral or positive impact on the Budget once operating at full scale,[118] its capital is provided by the Commonwealth, which the Government considers unnecessarily enlarges Commonwealth borrowing for a purpose that it believes could be replicated by the private sector.[119]

If the Government achieves its full legislative program in abolishing the CEFC and ARENA, in addition to the CPM, the only remaining support for renewable energy will come through the Renewable Energy Target, which the recent Warburton Review recommended should be abolished in parts and wound back in others.[120] In any case, although the RET provides a ‘demand-pull’ incentive for the commercial-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies, on its own, it does not provide direct support for research, development or pre-commercialisation stages, nor does it encourage knowledge-sharing. It is notable that the Warburton Review found that the RET has provided an incentive for investment in renewable energy technology; generated employment in the renewable energy sector and associated industries; [121] and been responsible for some of the downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices. [122] The Review also noted that Australian Energy Market Commission forecasts the RET to contribute only about four per cent to electricity bills in 2013–2014.[123] However, the effective operation of a cross-subsidy that has resulted in a transfer of wealth from electricity consumers and other participants in the electricity market to renewable generators and owners of small-scale renewable energy systems, has attracted criticism from commentators and affected parties.[124]

There has also been some suggestion that the Government’s proposed Direct Action Plan (specifically the Emissions Reduction Fund) could provide support for renewable energy development. However, this is unlikely to be the case; the ERF is not a grant scheme and will only be able to purchase quantified greenhouse gas abatement. For example, if a remote power station was able to reduce the amount of diesel or other fuel that it used to provide power by adding a solar panel or other renewable technology, this could be a quantified reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (although there are other barriers to the participation of such a project in the ERF).[125] However, a project that proposed to develop a new renewable energy technology that was in a pre‑commercial phase could not participate in the ERF, as there could be no quantified reduction in greenhouse gas emissions until attributed to the research activity, and the proposed technology could not reduce greenhouse gas emissions until it existed in a form ready for commercial deployment. Therefore, ARENA’s activities will not be substantially replaced by the Direct Action Plan.

Loss of independent board and expertise

The proposed abolition of ARENA will transfer responsibility for any new initiatives in funding of renewable energy research and development back to the Commonwealth. In doing so, the Government will abolish the Board and staff of ARENA, who act independently of the Government. Although the Government has the prerogative to re-prioritise expenditures as it considers necessary, it should be noted that the ARENA Board and staff have been developing expertise in assessing and facilitating renewable energy projects in an independent manner for over two years, with a particular emphasis on knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Due to the independent nature of the board and the certainty of its funding, decisions may be taken by ARENA in line with its legislated purpose, considering only the merits of the decision relatively free from short term political imperatives.

This situation may not be the case when a grants program is administered directly by a department of State. For example, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) was critical of the then-Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism’s administration of the 2008 Renewable Energy Demonstration Program:

REDP was the first major program to be implemented by [the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism] as a new department… While recognising the challenging environment these circumstances created, the department did not manage key aspects of the program’s implementation well, departing from generally accepted practices for sound grants administration.[126]

The ANAO’s report also noted the influence of a political decision made to accelerate the program as part of the Government’s response to the Global Financial Crisis as contributing to the sub-optimal administration of this program. The return of the responsibility for any investment decisions on renewable energy to direct Ministerial and departmental control may not be conducive to a coherent, long-term investment in renewable energy research and development, should the Government wish to extend any such support in the future. Similarly, with the loss of the expertise of the Board and staff of ARENA, any future support given to renewable energy research and development may need to replicate initial works (such as funding strategies/guidelines and knowledge stocktakes) that would already be in place if the current Board and staff were retained.

An alternative policy approach could be to reduce or rephase ARENA’s funding for new projects, whilst still retaining the Board and staff, so as to preserve the expertise gained in the assessment and facilitation of renewable energy research and development. Such a move would also provide savings to the Department of Industry, which would not need to contribute as many staff to ARENA. Although such a move would reduce the availability of funds for new projects and reduce the renewable energy development pipeline in Australia, it would allow for the preservation of expertise and the strategic collaborations undertaken by ARENA until such time as the budgetary position permitted restoration of ARENA’s funding to higher levels.

Should renewable energy be given Government support?

The four elements of Australia’s previous climate change policy gave very significant support to renewable energy. One criticism of these policies has been that by restricting the remit of ARENA, the Renewable Energy Target and (to a lesser extent) the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to renewable energy technologies, the Government has been ‘picking winners’,[127] rather than focussing on allowing the market to determine the most appropriate technologies to respond to climate change.[128] This implies that Government support should be technology-neutral, and Government programs should be open to all low-emissions technologies.

However, in the context of ARENA, these arguments ignore that although low‑emissions technologies are essential for helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is likely that achieving global emissions targets commensurate with limiting the more serious consequences of climate change will require significant amounts of carbon neutral or even carbon-negative energy sources to be deployed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that stabilising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at 450 parts per million would require ‘a tripling to nearly a quadrupling of the share of zero- and low-carbon energy supply from renewables, nuclear energy and fossil energy with carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), or bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) by the year 2050’.[129] Most renewable energy technologies are not yet mature enough for commercial deployment in competition with existing technology, which suggests that further research into zero-emissions energy sources is needed to improve their viability.

Additionally, there has been considerable support for the adoption of existing low-emissions technology (such as investing in energy efficiency or substituting a lower-emissions fuel). For example, the previous Government’s Clean Technology Investment programs and the current Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund both focussed on encouraging investments in energy efficiency and lowering emissions from commercial operations.[130]

However, there could still be merit to opening up ARENA’s activities to focus on the desired, ‘public-good’ outcome of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than just renewable energy. An alternative policy option to abolishing ARENA could be to make changes to ARENA’s functions, to permit it to investigate any technology with the potential to significantly reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, whether it involved renewable or very low emissions energy sources. This could also have the effect of providing further opportunities for collaborative efforts between researchers in different areas of low-emissions energy sources.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Kate Loynes with background material.

 

Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2500.



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[16].       Ibid.

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[38].       Ibid.

[39].       Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Inquiry into the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, The Senate, Canberra, 2014, accessed 24 September 2014.

[40].       Gas Energy Australia, Submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Inquiry into the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, 11 July 2014; Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Inquiry into the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, 16 July 2014, accessed 30 August 2014.

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[47].       I Macfarlane, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Renewable Energy Agency Bill 2011, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011’, House of Representatives, Debates, 1 November 2011, p. 12337; G Brandis, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Renewable Energy Agency Bill 2011, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011’, op. cit., p. 8655.

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[64].       Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, op. cit.

[65].       For more detail on the proposed ERF see K Swoboda, A St John and J Tomaras, Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014, Bills digest, 23, 2014–15, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2014, accessed 24 September 2014.

[66].       Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, op. cit.

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[73].       I Macfarlane, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, op. cit., p. 6660.

[74].       Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, Schedule 1, item 1.

[75].       I Macfarlane, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, op. cit., p. 6660.

[76].       Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, Schedule 1, item 1.

[77].       Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011, section 7.

[78].       Ibid., section 17.

[79].       Ibid., section 48.

[80].       Ibid., sections 50 and 61.

[81].       Ibid., sections 64–66.

[82].       Ibid., section 70.

[83].       Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, Schedule 1, items 2-17.

[84].       Ibid., Schedule 1, items 3 and 4.

[85].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 5.

[86].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 8.

[87].       Ibid., Schedule 1, items 6 and 7.

[88].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 9.

[89].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 10.

[90].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 11.

[91].       Under the ARENA Act, only the Board, the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer are employees of ARENA, and therefore have non-transferable appointments. Other employees working for ARENA are in fact employees of the Department of Industry (employed under the Public Service Act 1999), which section 62 of the ARENA Act requires the Secretary of that department to make available to ARENA. Item 11 also provides that contractors or consultants engaged by ARENA do not have transferable appointments.

[92].       Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014, Schedule 1, item 12.

[93].       Ibid., Schedule 1, items 13-14.

[94].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 15.

[95].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 17.

[96].       Ibid., Schedule 1, item 16.

[97].       Department of the Environment, Quarterly update of Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory: March 2014, Department of the Environment, Canberra, September 2014, p. 4, accessed 16 October 2014

[98].       Parliamentary Library estimates, based on data provided in figures 4 and 8 from Department of the Environment, Quarterly update of Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory: March 2014 – Data Sources, Department of the Environment, Canberra, September 2014, accessed 16 October 2014; Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), Australia’s emissions projections, DCCEE, Canberra, 2010,p.7, accessed 16 October 2014.

[99].       Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE), Australian Energy Statistics, 2014 edition, Table O, BREE, Canberra, July 2014, accessed 12 September 2014.

[100].    H Saddler, H Meade and M Johnston, cedex carbon emissions index – Electricity emissions update – data to 30 June 2014, pitt&sherry, Canberra, July 2014, accessed 12 September 2014. Figure used with permission of the author.

[101].    ARENA, ‘Biomass to bio-crude: producing advanced drop-in fuels for Australia, ARENA website; ARENA, ‘Bioenergy projects, ARENA website, accessed 13 September 2014.

[102].    ARENA, ‘Hybrid/enabling technologies projects, ARENA website, accessed 13 September 2014.

[103].    ARENA, ‘Potential network benefits of Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP) in the National Electricity Market (NEM), ARENA website, accessed 13 September 2014.

[104].    Department of Primary Industries and Energy, The Australian renewable energy industry, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993, p. 6-7; J Howard (Prime Minister), ‘Ministerial statements - safeguarding the future: Australia's response to climate change’, House of Representatives, Debates, 20 November 1997, p. 10921, accessed 13 September 2014.

[105].    J Howard (Prime Minister), Australia’s response to climate change, op. cit.

[106].    Ibid; A St John, The renewable energy target: a quick guide, Research paper series, 2013–14, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 14 May 2014, accessed 24 September 2014.

[107].    A St John, The renewable energy target: a quick guide, op. cit.

[108].    ‘Australian CRC for renewable energy’, Encyclopaedia of Australian Science, University of Melbourne, accessed 13 September 2014. CRCs combine government funding with private funding for research and development.

[109].    CSIRO, ‘Solar hot water systems’, CSIROpedia website, CSIRO, 10 February 2011, accessed 13 September 2014.

[110].    ‘CSIRO Newcastle solar breakthrough for supercritical steam’, ABC News (online edition), 4 June 2014, accessed 13 September 2014.

[111].    I Macfarlane (Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources) and I Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage), $500M low emissions technology fund takes final shape, media release, 3 June 2005; M Ferguson (Minister for Resources and Energy), $50 mill [sic] geothermal drilling program launched, media release, 20 August 2008, accessed 13 September 2014.

[112].    For more information on the establishment of ACRE, see J Tomaras, Australian Centre for Renewable Energy Bill 2009, Bills digest, 112,
2009–10, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 23 February 2010, accessed 13 September 2014.

[113].    M Ferguson, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Renewable Energy Agency Bill 2011’, op. cit., p. 11555.

[114].Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Act 2014; Parliament of Australia, ‘Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2014 homepage, Australian Parliament website; T Abbott (Prime Minister), Address to the Australian Industry Group - Inaugural Sir William Tyree Address, Sydney, speech, 8 August 2014, accessed 15 September 2014.

[115].    ARENA Act, sections 64 and 66.

[116].    A St John, The renewable energy target: a quick guide, op. cit.

[117].    A Talberg et al, Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [and] True-up Shortfall Levy (General) (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [and] True-up Shortfall Levy (Excise) (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, Bills digest, 16, 2013–14, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2013, p. 18, accessed 15 September 2014.

[118].    P Pyburne and J Chowns, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013, Bills digest, 30, 2013–14, Parliamentary Library Canberra, 2013, p. 4, accessed 15 September 2014.

[119].P Coorey and A Macdonald-Smith, ‘Clean Energy “unconvincing” says Coalition’, The Australian Financial Review, 6 December 2013, p. 6, accessed 15 September 2014.

[120].For a quick summary of the Warburton review, see A St John, ‘Review of the Renewable Energy Target released’, FlagPost weblog, 29 August 2014, accessed 15 September 2014.

[121].D Warburton et al, Renewable Energy Target Scheme: report of the Expert Panel, August 2014, p. 23, accessed 15 September 2014.

[122].Ibid., p. 18.

[123].Ibid., p. 19.

[124].    Ibid., pp. 15 and 24.

[125].    For more detail on the proposed ERF see K Swoboda, A St John and J Tomaras, Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014, Bills digest, 23, op. cit.

[126].    Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), Administration of the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program, The Auditor-General Audit Report, 1, 2012–13 Performance Audit, ANAO, 21 August 2012, p. 21, accessed 15 September 2014.

[127].    J Novak, ‘Opinion: Green subsidies must go, The Canberra Times, 23 August 2014, p. 9, accessed 24 September 2014.

[128].    Gas Energy Australia, Submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, op. cit.

[129].    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ‘Summary for Policymakers’, in Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change - Contribution of Working Group III, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 2014, p. 13, accessed 15 September 2014.

[130].    Australian Government, Clean Technology Investment Program, Business.gov.au website; Department of the Environment, Emissions Reduction Fund: white paper, Department of the Environment, Canberra, April 2014, accessed 24 September 2014.

 

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