Harnessing the energy technology of the future
New Energy Storage Technologies
The generation of additional renewable energy, particularly from intermittent resources such as wind and solar necessitates the development of innovative storage solutions and network redesign.
Labor will empower TasNetworks to work with renewable energy storage developers to future-proof their network and assets and take advantage of technological advances in renewable energy generation and storage.
We will leverage a minimum of $1 dollar of private investment for every public dollar spent to enable developers of energy storage systems to trial a portfolio of new energy storage technologies, including batteries and electrolysers for hydrogen production.
Alternative Fuel Transport
To achieve the vision of becoming truly self-sufficient, over time we need to steadily decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.
Tasmania has the highest rate of car ownership in the country. We spend more than $1 billion on petrol and diesel imports every year. We also pay amongst the highest fuel prices in the country.
Refocussing Tasmania’s energy network to support new electric vehicle technology not only provides savings in energy costs, it has the potential to create an entirely new industry for our state, built on our renewable energy capacity.
Labor will commit $7.5 million to roll out a staged plan to make Tasmania a leader in electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
Labor will take a leadership role in developing a network of electric vehicle charging stations for Tasmania. A carefully planned network of fast charging stations will extend the range of electric vehicles. This is crucial if we are to market Tasmania as an electric vehicle friendly place to visit.
Labor will pilot the roll-out of electric vehicles across the Government vehicle fleet.
We would also work with local government, the University of Tasmania, taxi and hire car companies to achieve economies of scale in fleet purchasing.
Labor is committed to realising advanced manufacturing opportunities, based on alternative fuel transport.
Labor will establish a pilot program to convert existing Metro busses to run on electricity and other alternative fuels like hydrogen. This program would retain specialist manufacturing jobs on the North West Coast and establish a new, modern industry for the region.
Across the globe a hydrogen-electric fuel cell revolution is occurring and vehicles have been released in the global marketplace. These vehicles can be refilled in less than three minutes and offer mileage of up to 700km on a single tank.
Fuel cell vehicles are therefore the perfect complement to battery-electric vehicles ensuring that we can achieve the transition away from fossil fuels across the broader range of personal and commercial mobility applications.
Hydrogen is created by using electricity to separate water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
The production of hydrogen in Tasmania will introduce a new use for our electricity, it will help reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, and at a larger scale create a product that could be exported to international markets.
Project developers such as The Hydrogen Utility are working at the forefront of hydrogen infrastructure commercialisation in Australia – with projects underway in Sydney and Melbourne – and with world-leading hydrogen supply chain initiatives such as the one recently announced for Port Lincoln are also based in our State.
Industry Investment Attraction
Labor recognises that increased renewable energy generation must be underpinned by a strategy to increase electricity consumption.
Labor will use proven initiatives like the Payroll Tax Incentive Scheme to attract new industries and employers to Tasmania.
Tasmania should aspire to become a centre of excellence for small scale, high value industry, advanced manufacturing and food production. Sparking a new wave of investment in renewable energy will also help attract complementary industries to the State, in the same way that the Woolnorth wind farm attracted Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas to establish a plant in Wynyard.
New opportunities could include manufacturing hydrogen and electric charging stations and retrofitting public transport.
Labor’s policy will restore the opportunity to attract investment in data centres, which require high levels of energy security and are increasingly seeking a low carbon footprint.
Renewable energy will also be a key competitive advantage for energy intensive major industrials.
Securing Existing Assets and Expertise
Tasmania’s greatest energy assets are its people. Staff within Hydro Tasmania’s consulting arm, Entura, have provided expert advice on renewable energy developments right around the world.
Labor believes Entura and its skilled staff should remain in Tasmania so that they can be fully utilised in the pursuit of new renewable energy opportunities.
Similarly, Labor will maintain ownership of Hydro Tasmania’s mainland retailer, Momentum. Momentum’s market reputation as a supplier of renewable energy has been damaged as a result of the energy crisis and the Basslink outage.
Labor’s investment in renewable energy will restore and strengthen Momentum’s reputation and allow the retailer to gain GreenPower accreditation.
Energy Usage in Agriculture
Labor understands the significant impact that energy prices have on businesses, particularly in energy intensive industries such as farming.
Labor wants to help address rising energy costs to farms by allowing them to generate their own electricity through renewable sources such as solar and wind.
However, under current policies, energy that is generated through a renewable energy installation can only be used to offset costs behind one meter.
A Majority Labor Government will work with TasNetworks to change the policy so that energy generated at one site can be used across all meters on the same property, provided it is used in real time.
Landholders would be responsible for bearing the costs of transmitting energy on their property, including any infrastructure upgrades such as transformers.
It is estimated the policy change could unlock more than $20 million in direct on-farm investment.
This policy will make an important contribution to achieving Labor’s 220MW Distributed Energy Target, and will add to the opportunities associated with the Virtual Power Plant.