Measuring a Renewable Government – Scorecard Forecasts Election With More Cloud Than Sunshine

16 August 2010

Ray Wills, CEO
Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA)

Assessing Potential Governments

Last week, the WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) released a comprehensive list of cost effective and practical actions that can be taken across all sectors of the economy that will boost national productivity, reduce inflation and ensure continued strong growth within the Australian sustainable energy industry and across Australia’s economy for decades to come.

The document consolidated a raft of commentary released by WA SEA aimed at improving Australia’s energy efficiency and take up of renewable energy generation, including measures that remove barriers to business entry and deliver incentives to ensure a more sustainable economy.

WA SEA then prepared an election score chart to document how well election commitments from all major parties are tracking against WA SEA’s action list.

WA SEA has given all parties – Labor, Liberal, Nationals and Greens – an opportunity to respond to the rankings, and has taken feedback received from parties into consideration.

In the assessment, the chart was simplified to rank the Liberal and National Parties in coalition. While WA SEA notes differences between Nationals policy in Western Australia and what has been assessed as joint Coalition policy at a Federal level, these details have not been separately considered here.

The table draws together previous commitments by parties while in government and opposition, together with analysis of new election commitments sourced from policy statements and media announcements. A total of 20 policy categories have been scored based on an assessment of each measure scored out of 5, with a total possible score of 100.

The Greens received the highest score with 73, Labor scored 32, and the Coalition scored 11 out of 100.

WA SEA Election Scorecard 2010

Score out of a possible 5 for each of 20 policies, a possible total score of 100

1. A renewable energy industry
Development of a diversity of renewable energy projects distributed across all regions of Australia
ALP: 3 (Support)
Coalition: 2 (Limited support – cut to funding for Renewable Energy Future Fund)
Greens: 5 (Strong Support)

2. Skills development and jobs in sustainable energy
Training and education to deliver the skills and knowledge to grow Australian jobs delivering sustainable energy outcomes for all sectors of the economy
ALP: 0 (No stated policy)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 0 (No stated policy)

3. Mandated Renewable Energy Target (MRET) a trajectory, not an endpoint
Planning consider continuing strong growth of renewable energy after 2020 and beyond 20%
ALP: 0 (No stated policy)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 5 (Strong measures supported)

4. A national emissions trading scheme
ETS the best market tool to deliver a price on carbon and to allow industry to respond and deliver certainty
ALP: 3 (Supported)
Coalition: -1 (Not supported)
Greens: 5 (Strong measures supported)

5. A strong emissions reduction target
scientifically based emissions reduction target for the nation of 80% by 2050
ALP: 2 (Stated targets not reflective of science)
Coalition: 2 (Stated targets not reflective of science)
Greens: 5 (Policy reflective of science)

6. Government purchase renewable electricity and biofuels
Government procurement of renewable energy
ALP: 0 (No stated policy)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 4 (Range of measures supported)

7. Government to be Carbon Neutral by 2015
Government operations must be offset by appropriate action
ALP: 2 (Energy Efficiency in Government Operations- EEGO)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 0 (No stated policy)

8. Investment in transmission and use of distributed generation and district generation
Transmission to facilitate investment in large scale renewable energy projects
ALP: 3 (Commitment to invest $1 billion in connecting renewable energy to grid)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 5 (Strong measures supported)

9. Feed-in tariffs for renewable energy for domestic, small-scale and large-scale generation.
FiT delivers the most cost-effective investments
ALP: 1 (No national policy – some coverage via COAG to promote national consistency)
Coalition: 0 (No national policy – support by WA liberal National Government but not carried to Federal election)
Greens: 5 (Stated policy for gross FiT)

10. Initiatives maximise use of low emissions and no emissions transport.
inclusive of pedestrians and cycling, domestic and commercial and industrial vehicle fleets, and all forms of public and industrial transport
ALP: 3 (Support for bicycles, lower emissions cars and rail)
Coalition: 1 (No clear policy beyond small, targeted measures)
Greens: 5 (Strong policy supporting international best practice) 

11. Public transport including light rail
investment in infrastructure for the benefit of future generations
ALP: 4 (Support for light rail including through Infrastructure Australia criteria)
Coalition: 3 (Support for light rail project)
Greens: 5 (Strong measures supported)

12. Removing polluting vehicles
Applied to both commercial and domestic
ALP: 3 (Cash for clunkers – businesses not included)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 3 (Use of government procurement, stringent fuel efficiency standards)

13. Mandatory installation of no emissions heating and cooling in new and renovated buildings
deliver cooling, heating, and production of hot water without emissions
ALP: 1 (No mandated approach – some coverage in Green Buildings policy)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 0 (No stated policy)

14. Energy efficiency incentives
Expansion of existing and addition of new programs
ALP: 2 (Minimal new commitments)
Coalition: 1 (No new commitment)
Greens: 4 (Strong measures supported)

15. Energy efficiency and greenhouse gas labelling for all appliances, buildings and vehicles
mandatory energy efficiency reporting in advertising
ALP: 0 (No stated policy)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 4 (strong measures supported – no detail on labelling)

16. Mandatory energy efficiency for larger firms
regulates and incentivises uptake of otherwise cost-neutral savings
ALP: 1 (Minimal commitment)
Coalition: 1 (Minimal commitment)
Greens: 5 (Strong measures supported)

17. Sustainability principles applied to new property developments and construction projects
regulates and incentivises uptake
ALP: 1 (Minimal commitment)
Coalition: 1 (Minimal commitment)
Greens: 5 (Strong measures supported)

18. Minimum energy performance and mandatory disclosure for buildings – and precincts.
implementation of rating and monitoring the energy performance
ALP: 3 (Commercial office building energy efficiency disclosure scheme)
Coalition: 1 (Minimal commitment)
Greens: 5 (Strong measures supported)

19. Minimise transaction costs for sustainable energy outcomes
government taxes and charges should be minimised on sustainable energy products
ALP: 0 (No stated policy)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 0 (No stated policy)

20. Government support for ethical business conduct
industry code of conduct and clear customer codes
ALP: 0 (No stated policy)
Coalition: 0 (No stated policy)
Greens: 3 (Policy applies to publically listed companies)

ALP: 32
Coalition: 11
Greens: 73

WA SEA Election Scorecard 2010 – Scorecard current as at 16 August 2010

o Only public commitments made on behalf of parties are included in the table for scoring purposes.
o A negative score may be given where a Party’s policy position is to reverse or cut an existing measure or otherwise has the effect of setting back existing budgetary allocations
o WA SEA does not endorse any political party, but supports all policies supporting sustainable energy outcomes for Australia. The scores in the election scorecard reflect WA SEA’s assessment of party policies against sustainable energy outcomes. Voters are urged to raise these issues with whichever candidate they prefer to seek their support for the nature of policies outlined here.

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