Some good news following last week's defeat in the Senate of the Australian emissions trading scheme. The Senate is voting today on the big increase in the mandatory renewable energy target (MRET), and it's expected to pass after the government and opposition reportedly reached a compromise yesterday.
The target - 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 - wasn't in doubt, but there was debate over the assistance to be given to electricity-intensive induestries.
The MRET was originally included as part of the CPRS (emissions trading) legislation, but the government agreed to split it as it was clear that the MRET could be passed and there was no use condemning it to defeat by insisting on it being a joblot with the CPRS.
This is good news. The new target is a big increase from the previous one and this gives some certainty to investors in renewable energy at a time where there's still considerable uncertainty about the timing and form of the emissions trading scheme. (And depending on what happens with the CPRS, it's possible that MRET, not emissions trading, will be the real driver of emissions reductions for Australia over the next decade).
Photo credit: davidnikonvscanon via flickr.
Update: The scheme has indeed now passed. Also, Sam Wylie at Core Econ has a nice summary of the scheme.