28/11/2007 - 13:56

WA slow on GreenPower uptake

28/11/2007 - 13:56

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Western Australians are seriously lagging behind other states when it comes to using renewable energy, according to a report tabled in Parliament today by auditor general Colin Murphy.

WA slow on GreenPower uptake

Western Australians are seriously lagging behind other states when it comes to using renewable energy, according to a report tabled in Parliament today by auditor general Colin Murphy.

The report detailed findings of a study which focused on whether Western Australians could be confident that renewable energy bought and sold by state government agencies is actually electricity from renewable sources and whether energy from these sources is properly accounted for.

The report states that only one in every 164 Western Australian households was buying GreenPower at 30 June 2007, compared with rates of between one in nine and one in 17 in other states.

Independent research suggests that Western Australians lack awareness about GreenPower and have suspicions about its legitimacy. Up to a third of the population may think it is a marketing gimmick.

Recently public concerns have been raised as to whether the new Kwinana Desalination plant is powered by renewable energy as announced by Government.

The study also examined whether the GreenPower program is increasing the supply of renewable energy in Western Australia and whether the basis of the State Government's renewable energy targets are measurable, auditable and realistic.

Currently, electricity on the main South West grid in Western Australia comes from coal, gas, diesel and renewable energy sources and supplies the electricity needs of more than 90 per cent of Western Australians.

Since 2001-02, electricity generated by accredited renewable sources on the South West Grid has increased from one per cent of total energy generated to five per cent at June 2007 and that the mandatory target and GreenPower programs have contributed to this increase, the report said.

Mr Murphy said the Western Australian Government was on track to meet its target for six per cent of all energy on the South West Grid to be from renewable sources by 2010.

The 2020 target for 15 per cent of all energy on the South West Grid to be from renewable sources should also be met if new renewable energy generating plants under construction or on the drawing board proceed.

In light of the findings, Mr Murphy has asked agencies to ensure that they better educate consumers about renewable energy; are transparent about what people are paying for; and that the Office of Energy report regularly against their renewable energy targets.

 



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