Government Sullies Clean Energy Agency, ARENA

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has damaged the integrity of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) by changing its remit so that it can invest in fossil fuels.

“The Federal Government’s latest move has sullied ARENA by allowing it to invest in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as well as hydrogen made with gas. This retrograde step will prop up fossil fuels using taxpayer money,” said Greg Bourne, Climate Councillor, former ARENA chair and former President, BP Australasia.

“The nation’s renewable energy agency should not be spending money earmarked for renewables on CCS technology. If any investment is made, it should be paid for by the fossil fuel industry. CCS is expensive, unlikely to be effective, and the industry has always over-promised and under-delivered,” said Mr Bourne.

“Gas is also a fossil fuel that powerfully drives climate change, and hydrogen from gas has no place in Australia’s zero emissions energy future. Only hydrogen made with renewable energy is worth investing in, as customers demand ‘green hydrogen’ in a decarbonising global economy,” said Mr Bourne.

“From renewables to battery storage to energy efficiency, we already have the technological solutions to reduce emissions. The government should be accelerating efforts to scale up and improve these climate solutions, creating jobs and economic opportunities in the process,” he added.

This is not the Federal Government’s first attempt to undermine ARENA. In 2014, it almost scrapped the agency. In 2016, it cut half a billion dollars from ARENA’s budget.

“Credible action on climate change means no new fossil fuel projects, a rapid push towards 100% renewable energy, and achieving net zero emissions by 2035,” said Mr Bourne

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