Clean out for
Appeals to the incoming Government to retain Australia’s $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation are falling on deaf ears.
The likely new Minister for Climate Change, Greg Hunt has already told the ABC that the Coalition will scrap it.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has funded $560 million worth of loans investing in technologies like solar panels and wind farms.
Chief Executive of the Corporation, Oliver Yates said it was there to help the move from a high-carbon economy to a lower-carbon economy as efficiently as possible.
He said the loans had been running only since July and had led to $1.6 billion in private sector investment through co-financing schemes.
Mr Hunt said he intended to review the status and nature of the contracts.
"We've always said that we wouldn't claw back funds that had already been paid, I think that was the prudent and responsible thing to do," Mr Hunt said.
Meanwhile the Coalition has reduced the amount of money it is spending on its Direct Action carbon reduction plan by more than $300 million.
The biggest saving, $200 million, comes from halving the amount the Coalition plans to rebate consumers for installing solar panels and solar hot water systems.
The payment was supposed to be $1,000, but the Coalition says it is cutting it to $500 because the cost of the products has come down and it wants to target low-income earners.
Almost $50 million will be saved by scrapping plans for three clean energy research centres.
The 2010 Direct Action policy said the Coalition would provide "$60 million to develop the La Trobe Valley, Hunter and Central Queensland regions as Clean Energy Employment Hubs to drive additional clean energy research and development".
Instead the Coalition says it will give $12 million to the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.
Other savings come from spending money on solar energy projects over six years instead of four, and moving $50 million for geothermal and tidal energy projects to the industry budget.
Edition 379, 17 September 2013