Australian State of Victoria to cut emissions by 20% by 2020 and sets 5% solar target

28 July 2010

Climate Group founding member, the Australian State of Victoria, has committed this week to introduce legislation to cuts its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

Premier John Brumby made the announcement as part of the State’s Climate Change White Paper this week. The White Paper includes a new solar energy target for the state that will require 5 per cent of its electricity to come from large-scale solar projects by 2020. The Government expects between five and ten large scale solar plants to be installed across Victoria in order to meet the target.

The target will be supported by a feed-in tariff that will apply to large scale solar installations. An interim target to have 500 GWh of solar energy production by 2014 – enough to power 90,000 homes – has also been set.

The scheme is planned to be additional to the 20 per cent 2020 national target that Australia has for renewable generation.

Australia Director of The Climate Group, Rupert Posner said: “This is an ambitious number given that the latest figures from The Climate Group’s Greenhouse Indicator reports show that only about 4 per cent of the state’s energy currently comes from renewables of any description, and means that there will have to be a considerable growth in the renewables industry in the state.”

The Government estimates that the scheme will create between Aus$1.5 - Aus$2 billion in additional investment, something that will significantly expand the number of green jobs and skills in the state.

Other initiatives in the Government’s White Paper include:

  • Doubling of Victoria’s energy efficiency target - cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 5.4 million tonnes a year.
  • Investing $100 million to increase the existing energy efficiency target across government buildings from 20 per cent to 25 per cent by 2018.
  • Reducing the Government’s overall fleet emissions by 20 per cent by 2015, including the purchase of 2,000 hybrid Toyota Camrys.
  • Increasing the Government’s purchase of GreenPower from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.
  • Establishing the Victorian Carbon Exchange to allow farmers, the forestry industry, community and Government to voluntarily offset greenhouse gas emissions through a central offset purchasing system that will see incentives for tree planting and improved farming practices.
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