Renewable energy on verge of boost: report

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    Renewable energy on verge of boost: report


    THE renewable energy industry could surge and create thousands of jobs if targets forcing companies to source clean energy increased, a report shows.

    The Next Energy report, commissioned by Greenpeace, shows 14,300 new jobs could be generated if the national target to source more energy from renewable sources was raised.

    Most new jobs would be in the bush.

    The current target, which requires two per cent of energy to be sourced from renewables such as wind and solar heating by 2010, must be raised to 10 per cent, it said.

    The higher target would bring Australia into line with other OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations.

    It would also cut carbon emissions, which are blamed for emitting greenhouse gases and causing global warming.

    Report authors Robin Roy and Graham Mawer, who between them have decades of experience working in and studying the energy sector, said a vibrant renewable energy industry could be developed.

    "There is a strong case that enough new renewable energy sources could be developed to meet a 10 per cent MRET (Mandatory Renewable Energy Target) of up to 36,500 gigawatt hours per year by 2010 at no or very low cost," they said.

    "Meeting a 10 per cent MRET would bring significant environmental gains by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by some 26 million tonnes each year."

    Cutting 26 million tonnes of carbon emissions is equivalent to taking about six million cars off the road.

    In 2000 the federal government introduced the MRET, which became law in April 2001.

    Last week the Business Council for Sustainable Energy released a report saying the industry would be worth $4 billion a year by 2010.

    A review of MRET is scheduled for January next year.

    Greenpeace said governments must swiftly move to take advantage of the opportunity to create jobs and cut emissions.

    "It (the report) shows that such a target is feasible and cost effective," Greenpeace said in a statement.


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