Hydro Tasmania welcomes Energy Futures report; urges action on renewable energy options

5 December 2006

Hydro Tasmania has welcomed the launch of a major energy report and urged the Federal Government to look at all renewable energy options as part of a national response to climate change.

The Energy Futures Forum report was released in Canberra today.

The report looks at plausible climate change scenarios for Australia for the year 2050. The forum, of which Hydro Tasmania was one of 21 member organisations, focused on all aspects of climate change, including global economic impacts, social attitudes, technology opportunities and the benefits of mitigation.

Initiated by the CSIRO, the forum comprised representatives from various industry sectors, government, unions, environmental and welfare groups and worked for two years to develop the final report.

Hydro Tasmania’s CEO Vince Hawksworth said the report provided an important platform for community debate on climate change.

“We commend the CSIRO on its initiative and the opportunity it has provided for a group of diverse organisations to debate plausible energy futures,” Mr Hawksworth said.

“The work has reinforced Hydro Tasmania’s view that it is important to start addressing this issue as soon as possible. There are solutions available now that, with the support of all levels of government, could be implemented.

“It is reassuring for the future to know that such a wide variety of organisations can work together to find solutions to what is the greatest issue facing our planet today.

“The forum will add an important dimension to the climate change debate and as Australia’s leading renewable energy business we were delighted to contribute.

“We certainly see opportunities for our business to become a greater part of the solution.”

Mr Hawksworth said Hydro Tasmania contributed about 60 percent of Australia’s renewable energy and had identified a number of opportunities both in Tasmania and interstate for further renewable energy development.

“We have two world-class wind farm sites in Tasmania that have not been developed due to the lack of support at a national level for the renewable energy sector. These two projects alone could contribute around 290 megawatts of renewable energy.

“As a result our business is developing renewable energy projects offshore in China, New Zealand and India through our joint venture company Roaring 40s.

“These countries have realistic targets and incentives for the development of renewable energy and are committed to combating climate change. It is time for Australia to follow suit.”

Energy Futures Forum members included Alcoa, the Australian Automobile Association, ACOSS, Origin Energy, the ACTU, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, the Federal Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, Westpac, Delta Electricity and the World Wildlife Fund.

The report from the forum is available from www.csiro.au/energyfuturesforumreport

Further Information:
Hydro Tasmania - Helen Brain, 6230 5746