Greetings from the Community Renewable Energy Forum at the ACT Legislative Assembly in Canberra.
Disappointingly, the Liberal Party did not send a spokesperson to the event and so a statement was read out instead. This consisted mostly of criticism of the Labor government, with no proposals for renewable energy.
Simon Corbell MLA, ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Minister pointed out that an expert panel was meeting today to check the applicants for a solar power station in the ACT. He pointed out that the cost of solar panels was dropping and making solar power more affordable. He also mentioned the use of a reverse auction to set the price for the power. But what he did not discuss how large a subsidy Canberra electricity users would pay for the solar power and how it related to the Federal Government's carbon price.
My understanding is that the federal government has a target for carbon emissions. Any extra efforts by the community to reduce emissions will just transfer the cost from large polluter to ACT residents, without reducing emissions at all.
There was then a Greens spokesperson, who was generally supportive of the ACT Government's position.
So far the forum has been disappointing, being just set speeches. The MC has said that questions from the floor will not be taken, instead we have to fill in a paper form and these will be filtered in some "democratic" way. The MLAs and renewable energy proponents need to try newer more innovative and genuinely participatory techniques.