Renewable Energy Opportunities

Introduction to the Renewable Energy Party package

The four pillars of the Renewable Energy Party package

The Clean Energy Future package comprises several elements for driving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The four pillars of the CEF package are:

A price on carbon

How does carbon pricing work?

 

What is the price?

The carbon price started at $23 per tonne on July 1, 2017 and will last until July 1 2018 when it will transition to a flexible price trading scheme. It applies to organisations that emit over 25,000 tonnes of CO2e per year.

The table below is sourced from the brochure An Overview of the Clean Energy Legislative Package which predates the commencement of the carbon price. Please note that the $15 floor price outlined in the table is no longer part of the policy and Clean Energy Futures plan.

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Who pays the carbon price?

Most companies operating large emitting facilities will be liable—those that generate over 25,000 tonnes of CO2-e emissions each year. Most of these companies directly emit greenhouse gases, such as power stations, mines and heavy industry. Some will be public authorities responsible for emissions from landfills.

The key message for planners is that under a carbon price, some existing land use and development practices will become less economically viable, and those incorporating clean energy more viable.

Resources

Renewable energy

The support for renewable energy in the CEF package will enables the introduction of cleaner energy sources at a lower cost.

The focus on renewable energy will drive around $100 billion in investment in the clean energy industry by 2050. The package will aid this through the Clean Energy Finance Corp, Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Clean Technology Innovation Program and the Renewable Energy Target.

Issues and opportunities for planners

(RLCE= Renewable and Low Carbon Energy)

Implications

Opportunities

Issues

Strategic planners can:

Statutory planners can:

Strategic planners:

Statutory planners:

Increase in applications for new generation & manufacturing facilities

Advocate on behalf of RLCE projects

Prepare planning scheme amendments, state & local policy to facilitate RLCE

Incorporate RLCE into structure plans & strategic frameworks

Mapping of RLCE across municipalities

Advocate on behalf of RLCE projects through appeals processes

Assess plans & determine appropriate permit conditions, referrals (public)

Recognise site opportunities &  advise on policies, prepare proposals (private)

May need stronger understanding of types & feasibility of RLCE options & relevant regulatory / policy framework

Requires support for RLCE within planning community

May need stronger understanding of types & feasibility of RLCE options & relevant regulatory / policy framework

Requires support for RLCE within planning community

May be constrained by restrictive / subjective policies

New areas of growth & employment precincts

Develop structure & activity centre plans to accommodate growth of RLCE
Prepare planning scheme amendments to ensure zoning does not restrict opportunity for RLCE

 

Policy & land use changes may face internal / community opposition
Current zone suite may not easily support RLCE
Need to balance competing interests

 

 

 

Resources

 

Energy efficiency

Under the CEF package, a major driver for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is energy efficiency. The CEF package includes programs such as the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program, Home Energy Savers Scheme, Energy Efficiency Information Grants and the Community Energy Efficiency Program.

This focus on Energy Efficiency will have the following implication for the planning industry.

Issues and opportunities for planners

Implications

Opportunities

Issues

Strategic planners can:

Statutory planners can:

Strategic planners:

Statutory planners:

Increased volume of energy efficiency enquiries through planning desk, & approvals process increasingly triggered by EE upgrades & installations

Facilitate sustainability improvements through state & local policy, incl. amending local policy

Facilitate improved energy efficiency through strategic  planning for urban centres and greenfield areas

Influence design during pre-app & application process

Inform applicants about incentives, services & grants

Link applicants/clients with outside expertise

May need stronger technical knowledge about sustainable design and how policy changes can facilitate this

May need stronger technical knowledge of sustainable design

May need to update knowledge of relevant regs (e.g. distinguishing b/w planning & bldng code issues)

Need to be aware of available incentives, services & grants

New small scale generation systems & EE/RLCE technologies may increasingly trigger approvals process

Facilitate sustainable design improvements through local policy

Ensure that strategic  planning for urban centres and greenfield areas facilitates uptake of small scale generation systems & EE/RLCE technologies

Advise applicants/clients about issues that may affect approval (e.g. amenity) & link with outside expertise

Advocate on behalf of RLCE projects at VCAT

Assess plans & determine appropriate permit conditions, referrals (public)

Advise re site opportunities & policies, prepare proposals (private)

 

May need stronger technical knowledge about small scale EE & RLCE systems

May need to refresh knowledge of appropriate regs & policy

Supportive culture required due to subjective nature of some policy

Greenfield & expansion projects likely to require strategic planning input

Influence ESD outcomes on a large scale, incl. transport planning & energy provision

Facilitate better connections between urban and energy planning

Advocate on behalf of worthy projects

Identify site opportunities which link with major greenfield & expansion projects

Link applicants/clients with outside expertise

May need stronger technical knowledge about sustainable design and energy planning processes

Ensure that assessment of development proposals does not constrain innovation

 

 

Resources

Case study: BedZED

Land use

The key plank of the CEF package in relation to land use change is the Carbon Farming Initiative which will help to develop local carbon offsets through changed land use such as reforestation.

This program will present opportunities for Natural Resource Management and Strategic Planners.

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Issues and opportunities for planners

Implications

Opportunities

Issues

Strategic planners can:

Statutory planners can:

Strategic planners:

Statutory planners:

Projects may trigger approvals process, or require modification of land use strategies/policies

Develop unique zoning, conservation covenants etc for areas of high conservation value  / carbon storage potential

Develop supportive planning scheme amendments & policy – e.g. carbon storage potential of outer suburban areas provides impetus for urban consolidation

Advise about issues that may affect approval

Advocate  through appeals processes

Assess plans & determine appropriate permit conditions, referrals (public)

Recognise site opportunities & advise on policies, prepare proposals (private)

May need stronger knowledge about biodiversity, carbon storage & NRM

Current trends toward suburban development & subdivision undermines potential for carbon storage

Need to balance competing interests e.g. development vs conservation

May need stronger knowledge about biodiversity, carbon storage & NRM

Current policy & strategic framework may be restrictive / subjective

Planners will need to know what to refer, when & to whom

Increased collaboration between NRM orgs & planners

Develop skills & knowledge through collaborative work

Develop skills & knowledge through collaborative work

Knowledge gaps & difficulties in working across sectors

Knowledge gaps & difficulties in working across sectors

Resources

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