The Australian Carbon Price Scheme passed by the Parliament in October 2011 is the largest emissions-trading scheme outside Europe. Outside the EU, only New Zealand has a national scheme in operation. The plan places a carbon tax of $23 a tonne on its 500 worst polluters from 2012.
The government will spend $9.2 billion over the first three years of the scheme to assist in the transition for heavy polluting industries like steel and aluminium production.
The government would also set up loan guarantees for electricity generators through a new Energy Security Fund, to help the industry refinance loans of between $9 billion and $10 billion over the next five years. It will also fund the shut-down or partial closure of the dirtiest generators and remove up to 2,000 megawatts of capacity by 2020, while short-term loans would be offered to generators to help re-finance debt and buy permits.
The scheme also set-up a $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund new renewable and cleaner generation capacity, such as wind, solar, gas and wave power plants.
This report is an abstract of the information provided by the government on its CPS as well as an analysis in which we concentrate on the effects it has on the electricity industry including the new business opportunities in smart grids and new clean technologies.