A Limited View of Future Energy Innovation

The Strategic Energy Initiative, Energy2031 released today, is the Western Australian Government’s strategy for our energy future.

But our energy future may be looking bleak if the outcomes outlined in this rather light-on 28 page document are anything to go by. The paper has taken four years to produce, and received multitudes of submissions from many sectors and stakeholders, but in the end is extremely light on detailed planning and resembles a slightly weak policy rather than an actual strategy.

Robin Chapple MLC has congratulated the Minister on finally releasing the paper, however is disappointed at its lack of vision.

“It seems that, in keeping with the State’s current unenviable record of prioritising the extractive industries over social and environmental protection and intergenerational equity, coal and gas are the energy sources of choice for the next decade.

While the overarching goals and principles of the strategy are sound, the underlying theme of this strategy is not full access of renewable energy into the grid, nor the development of new and innovative efficiency initiatives and technologies, but the perpetuation of the status quo. This government is again doggedly travelling down the path of least resistance with a view to ensuring supply by placating the big players” Mr Chapple said.

The strategy does nothing to move Western Australia towards a clean energy future or address our steadily rising carbon emissions, and in fact touts shale and tight gas as options to alleviate gas supply security issues while appearing to sideline far less environmentally controversial renewable energy options.

“So little of this document exhibits any kind of innovation, courage or exploration of sustainable options that it seems a bit rich to claim that it is ‘Building the Pathways for Western Australia’s Energy Future” said Chapple

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