Stanwell has postponed the restarting of Unit 2 at Tarong Power Station.
Stanwell has postponed the restarting of Unit 2 at Tarong Power Station. Clive Lowe

Shorten commits to renewable energy

HALF of the power consumed by the Federal Government will come from renewable sources by 2030 if Labor is elected, Bill Shorten says.

The Labor leader made the announcement yesterday with deputy Tanya Plibersek by his side at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Mr Shorten said the policy would incur no net cost.

"The Commonwealth is going to be buying electricity up to 2030. We are proposing to have our purchasing arrangements, which we'll prioritise up until 2030, getting to 50% of our energy consumption from renewable energy," he said.

"By prioritising renewable energy in our energy mix ... we will make sure that Australia gets its fair share of the $2.5 trillion of investment that is forecast to be made in renewable energy in the Asia-Pacific region alone."

Environment Minister Greg Hunt disputed Mr Shorten's cost claim, arguing a similar policy cost the ACT Government up to $89.10 per MWh.

"Fortunately for Labor, the Department of the Environment has done their work for them," he said.

"The department costed a 50% national renewables target and has found it will cost a whopping $85 billion by 2030."

Yesterday's Labor announcement came after the party pledged on Wednesday to provide $98.7million to create Community Power Hubs.

These would include working with social housing and aged care providers on solar rooftop installations and community wind farms.

The hubs would be in 10 areas considered most in need by Labor.

Shadow environment minister Mark Butler said household installations of solar panels had risen from just over 1000 to 1.5 million in the past decade.

"There are 20,000 Australians currently employed in the renewable energy sector," he said.


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