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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Tasmanian Climate Change Office

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Contact the Tasmanian Climate Change Office on 03 6232 7173 or Service Tasmania on 1300 135 513.

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Tasmanian Wedges Project report

In 2008, the Tasmanian Government introduced legislation which established a greenhouse gas emissions target to reduce the State's emissions to at least 60 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. Achieving this target will require significant emission reductions across all sectors of the Tasmanian economy.

The Tasmanian Wedges Project has modelled Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions under a business-as-usual scenario to 2050. It has identified potential emission reduction options for each sector of the economy and evaluated the abatement potential and cost of each option. The project has also considered opportunities for early action, barriers to implementation and the impact of the proposed national Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and the expanded national Renewable Energy Target (RET) on Tasmania's emission profile.

The project has been undertaken for the Government by respected strategic consulting firm McLennan Magasanik Associates (MMA).

The key findings of the report are available on this page, or choose from the links below to download the full report, along with the executive summary and appendices.

Key findings

  1. Under the business-as-usual scenario, Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase from current levels of around nine million tonnes to around 13 million tonnes in 2050.

  2. Electricity demand is projected to double by 2050. Unlike other states, Tasmania has an important opportunity to meet demand growth through energy efficiency measures, cogeneration opportunities and increased renewable energy generation.

  3. Tasmania has enough renewable energy resources (wind and biomass in the short-term, geothermal in the medium-term and wave and tidal in the long-term) to supply electricity Tasmanian electricity demand with leftover generating capacity to export electricity to the mainland. By realising this renewable generation capacity and exporting renewable electricity Tasmania could make a significant contribution to reducing national emissions.

  4. The Australian Government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and expanded Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme have the potential to deliver substantial abatement in Tasmania, provided that market barriers are addressed through complementary measures and provided that significant technology developments occur in some key areas.

  5. The project concludes that Tasmania's legislated emission reduction target can be met under an optimistic future scenario. Three quarters of the abatement potential has been identified within three sectors:

  • stationary energy - through substituting biomass and natural gas for coal, increased cogeneration through expansion of the natural gas network, and increased renewable energy generation

  • industrial processes - through adoption of inert anodes for the aluminium industry and carbon capture and storage of emissions from the cement and ferro-alloy industry

  • transport - through significant takeup of alternative fuel vehicles such as electric and hybrids, and an increase in the use of alternative transport modes such as public transport, cycling and walking.

Tasmanian emissions after adoption of abatement options:

Tasmanian_emissions_after_adoption_of_abatement_options

Recommendations

MMA have identified a range of possible actions the Tasmanian Government could pursue to address potential barriers to achieving the legislated emission reduction target, and to maximize the State's ability to seize opportunities created by transition to a low carbon economy. These include:

  • Facilitating the development of Tasmania's renewable energy resources, particularly geothermal, ocean and biomass resources.
  • Implementing policies that remove barriers to the uptake of energy efficiency measures.
  • Establishing planning frameworks that enable building design and location to maximise energy and transport efficiency and that accommodate alternative transport technologies.
  • Establishing a research and development program to adapt abatement technologies for the Tasmanian environment, such as algal carbon capture and mitigation measures relevant to the agricultural sector.
  • Investigating the greenhouse gas emissions benefits of increasing harvesting rotation periods in forestry estates.
  • Improving public transport facilities, including walking and cycling tracks.
  • Facilitating the development of networks for electric vehicle battery recharge and replacement.
  • Developing education programs for farmers on new emission reduction practices.

Where to from here?

In early 2010 the Government referred the Tasmanian Wedges report to the Tasmanian Climate Action Council for its advice on the actions that the Government can undertake in response to the recommendations in the report.

In July 2010 the council provided its independent advice to the Minister.

The Government is currently considering both the Wedges Report and the Council's advice, before preparing its formal response to the Report