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Tasmania's Renewable Energy Future - Submission to the Draft Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan to the Tasmanian State Government
This submission has been prepared as a contribution to the development of the Draft Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan 2020 (TREAP). The analysis responds to the specific questions posed in the TREAP while also outlining a wider range of options which could be considered as part of a broader energy and emissions strategy. The overall aim of the Action Plan should be to develop an advanced and sustainable energy system which delivers long-term economic, social and environmental benefits to the Tasmanian community while making a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions nationally. It is an opportunity for Tasmania to provide leadership in relation to one of the most significant global challenges of our age.
Given the need to decarbonise electricity generation and energy systems more broadly this submission supports the TREAP target of doubling renewable energy generation in Tasmania by 2040. Doubling Tasmania’s renewable energy generation over the next 20 years is an important goal but more can be done to manage risks associated with the TREAP and maximise the long-term benefits for the Tasmanian community. Specifically, this submission identifies four key issues which require further consideration during the development of the Action Plan:
1. Identify and address the potential risks associated with the TREAP
Initiatives within the TREAP have the potential to unlock over $7 billion in investment and create up to 4,000 direct jobs at the peak of the construction phase. This represents a significant opportunity for Tasmania, but we must continue to analyse, acknowledge and address the financial, social and environmental risks associated with significantly increasing renewable electricity generation and interconnection with the National Energy Market (NEM).
2. Maximise and promote the long-term benefits of the TREAP for Tasmania
We must ensure that communities, both those directly involved in renewable energy projects and Tasmania as a whole, enjoy long-term benefits from increased investment in renewable energy projects. Providing training to maximise local employment in the industry will enable communities to work in and benefit from the expansion of the energy sector. Engaging with communities and responding to their needs and concerns in a consistent and coordinated manner will also be critically important for securing community support.
3. Use increased renewable energy generation to develop new low-carbon industries
The TREAP and the further development of Tasmania’s renewable energy assets should be regarded as a foundation for Tasmania’s transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy or ‘climate positive’ economy. Tasmania is already on the cusp of meeting its on-island needs from renewable sources and now should use this resource to phase out fossil fuel use in transport, heating and industrial applications. The Action Plan should be complemented by a comprehensive strategy to promote Tasmania’s world leading emissions profile and increase investment and innovation in emerging low carbon industries to deliver long-term, state-wide benefits.
4. Develop Tasmania’s ‘brand’ as a sustainable, innovative, low-carbon economy
Pursuing a world-leading target for renewable energy production and establishing an innovative and prosperous low-carbon economy will also deliver benefits beyond energy intensive industries. If we can build and promote a renewable energy and low carbon ‘brand’ it will benefit exporters and help attract visitors whether they be tourists, students widely shared vision which delivers both environmental dividends and sustainable employment and economic growth will deliver long-term benefits to the Tasmanian community.
In addition to the four key issues outlined above, this submission makes 28 specific recommendations in response to discussion questions raised in the TREAP. These recommendations are provided in the relevant section of the submission and presented as a consolidated list at the end of the full submission.
CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation
Commissioning bodyTasmanian Policy Exchange, University of Tasmania
Department/SchoolAustralian Maritime College
PublisherTasmanian Policy Exchange, University of Tasmania
Place of publicationHobart, Tasmania