Thursday, 4 February 2021

Morrison Government determined to turn Clean Energy Finance Corporation into a slush fund for the benefit of its fossil fuel industry mates?

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) was established in 2012 to facilitate increased flows of finance into the clean energy sector.

It has been provided with access to $10 billion in capital and

invests directly and indirectly, in clean energy technologies.

These clean energy technologies include: energy efficiency technologies; low emission technologies; and renewable energy technologies.

As of 30 June 2020 CEFC had investment commitments (deployed and contractually committed capital) of $5.95 billion.

The uncommitted $4.05 billion is firmly in the sights of the Morrison Government who would like to see this money go to its major donors in the fossil fuel reliant energy industries.

Commencing with carving our an initial $1 billion to to establish a Grid Reliability Fund to support the largely privatised, heavily coal-reliant, electricity supply corporations.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation Amendment (Grid Reliability Fund) Bill 2020 is back before the House of Representatives today.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 February 2021:

Federal Labor remains opposed to a proposed overhaul of Australia's clean energy fund rules aimed at fuelling investment in gas power plants and grid infrastructure despite a shake-up in its approach to climate policy.

The Morrison government's plans to change laws that stop the Clean Energy Finance Corp from investing in conventional fossil fuels and remove a rule that prevents it from investing in loss-making projects will be debated in Federal Parliament today.

The proposed changes will apply to the taxpayer-funded green bank's $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, making it responsible for an underwriting scheme to encourage private companies to build new power supply.

New climate and energy spokesman Chris Bowen said Labor would only support the changes it if is successful in amending the legislation, including rejecting the proposed definition of gas as a low-emissions energy source.

"Labor created the CEFC and has consistently protected its integrity," Mr Bowen said yesterday, after he last week replaced Mark Butler after seven years in the portfolio.

"We'll be putting forward sensible amendments to ensure the CEFC won't be turned into a slush fund, and can only invest in economically viable, clean energy projects.

"If the government is able to move past its paralysing internal climate wars and accept these amendments, we will support the bill."….

The CEFC was created in 2012 under a deal between Labor, the Greens and independents with a mandate to invest in renewable energy, low-emissions technology and energy-efficiency projects that would deliver a return. 

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