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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 16567

Australia to join International Renewable Energy Agency

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/05/2009

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 16567

Australia will become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), strengthening our role as a global leader in tackling climate change.

IRENA's aim is to speed up the implementation of renewable energy worldwide.

This underlines Australia's commitment to tackling climate change by taking a global leadership role in reducing carbon pollution and supporting innovation.

The Rudd Government is investing $4.5 billion in becoming a world leader in solar power and other clean energy initiatives, including:

* $2.4 billion in low emissions coal technologies;

* $1.6 billion in solar technologies;

* $465 million to establish Renewables Australia to support leading-edge technology research and bring it to market.

These investments will increase Australia's clean energy generation, reduce carbon pollution, and support thousands of new low pollution jobs by stimulating economic activity.

Investments in solar power

The Rudd Government will invest $1.365 billion in the new Solar Flagships program.

Solar Flagships will seek to develop up to four individual generation plants on the national grid.

Currently, the largest solar energy project operating anywhere in the world is in California.

Our ambition is for Solar Flagships to generate three times as much power as that project. Together, they will have the generating capacity of an average Australian coal-fired power station (1000 MegaWatts).

The knowledge gained from operating the Solar Flagships program will then contribute to the worldwide fight against carbon pollution, through Australia's membership of IRENA.

The Rudd Government is committed to ensuring 20 per cent of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

Australia's participation in IRENA complements Australia's establishment of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. Founded in January, IRENA currently has 80 members.

The Solar Flagship program will complement the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagship program, demonstrating the Government's commitment to both maintain the value of our fossil fuel resources and develop our renewable energy potential.

The two strategic technology priorities of CCS and solar will also be underpinned by supporting specialised research, development and demonstration programs.

The Rudd Government is committed to reducing carbon pollution, delivering significant savings through energy efficiency, while making the investments that will create the cleaner technologies, industries and jobs of tomorrow.

The Government will work with the private sector to position the Australian economy for a low pollution, high-skilled future.

Transcript 16567