100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020.
Step 4) 100% Renewable Electricity by 2020
Action: The Tasmanian Government needs to commit to a detailed plan for Tasmania to become a Renewable Energy Island with 100% renewable electricity by 2020. This would require coal power imports through Basslink to be phased out and a massive investment in wind and solar technologies and supporting network infrastructure to meet Tasmania's energy requirements as well as to export to the Australian mainland. The Tasmanian Government must prohibit the use of biomass from native forests or new dam-storage hydro for power generation. Reducing energy use will help achieve this target more rapidly. A generous net feed-in tariff would both stimulate investment in distributed renewable energy while rewarding energy conservation.
Rationale: Tasmania is blessed with world class renewable energy resources including long sunshine hours, wind, hydro, wave, tidal and potentially geothermal energy. With climate change, Tasmania has witnessed a long-term decline in output from its hydro-power generators due to prolonged drought, and has invested in Basslink and gas-fired power generation to increase energy security - but at the expense of rising greenhouse gas emissions and increased vulnerability to carbon pricing. There are also opportunities to optimise the existing hydropower system, including capturing run-of-river energy. Tasmania has a moral duty not only to develop these resources for its own use, but also - combined with the strategy of reducing energy consumption in Tasmania - to export our surplus to reduce emissions on the mainland. This strategy will unleash a new wave of investment and sustainable employment creation in our State, drawing on skills and research from our tertiary institutions and contributing to our status as a clever State. With 100% renewable energy, and eventually emissions-neutral status as an island, Tasmania will for the first time be able to lay claim to a genuine 'clean and green' status, attracting sustainable tourism from around the world.