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Renewable energy target supported by green building industry

31 August, 2009

Australia's leading green building organisation called on both sides of politics to support the speedy passage of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Bill through the Senate this month.

The Green Building Council of Australia's (GBCA's) Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, has said that the Council supports the use of renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions.

"The RET Bill is necessary because the Australian National Electricity Market fails to value the carbon intensity of energy," said Madew.

"Residential and commercial buildings are responsible for 23 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly buildings have a significant role to play in reducing our carbon footprint.

"The Green Building Council of Australia encourages building designers to create buildings that achieve zero operational greenhouse gas emissions.

"Several design teams are seeking this 'holy grail' of green building - but this can only be achieved when renewable energy systems are integrated into buildings.

"The renewable energy target will encourage construction projects that address the environmental impact of energy used in buildings. The solar credits scheme will encourage more small-scale renewable energy installations," said Madew.

There will be a significant opportunity for small-scale renewable energy installations in buildings to contribute to the revised targets, Madew explained.

"Renewable energy systems that are integrated into buildings will result in lower transmission and distribution costs and losses. These benefits should be recognised, particularly when compared to centralised and remote systems such as rural wind farms," said Madew.

The GBCA operates Australia's only national, voluntary environmental rating system for buildings, Green Star. A recent assessment of 95 Green Star projects around Australia found that buildings with Green Star certification achieved an average 36 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

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