How Chris Ellison voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase investment in renewable energy technologies

Division Chris Ellison Supporters vote Division outcome

14th Feb 2008, 10:32 AM – Senate Montions - Solar Energy Technology - Provide incentives

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Democrats Senator Lyn Allison. This means it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in December 2007 Ausra Inc. announced that it will build a manufacturing plant in Nevada for solar thermal power systems, (ii) Ausra’s innovations in mirror systems have brought the price of solar power down to the level of gas-fired power and is expected soon to be price competitive with coal-fired power, and (iii) the plant will produce 700 MW a year in solar thermal power systems for the American Southwest;

(b) congratulates the founder of Ausra, world-renowned, Dr David Mills, for this development and for his longstanding solar technology innovation at the University of Sydney, including:

(i) the evacuated tube solar water heater technology that is now in use in 60 per cent of these units worldwide, (ii) the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector for use in solar thermal energy, (iii) photovoltaic systems, and (iv) a solar steriliser design which won a World Health Organization award in 2002;

(c) regrets that the economic benefits of this important innovation in renewable, clean, base load power have been lost to Australia; and (d) urges the Government to:

(i) recognise that Australia, like Nevada and California, has excellent sources of solar energy from which to generate solar thermal base load power, and (ii) provide the necessary incentives for the technology to also be established in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

7th Aug 2007, 3:53 PM – Senate Motions - Desalination Plant - Renewable energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Lyn Allison, which means it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the announcement by the Victorian State Government that a desalination plant costing $3.1 billion will be built near Wonthaggi to provide a third of Melbourne’s demand for water, approximately 150 billion litres, by 2012,(Read more about this proposed desalination plant on Wikipedia here.) (ii) that the desalination plant and associated pumping of more than 200 km will likely emit more than a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year and increase electricity use in Victoria by 2 per cent, (iii) that the Victorian Government intends to ‘offset’ greenhouse emissions through the purchase of renewable energy, (iv) that the ongoing drought in Victoria is highly likely to be related to climate change, (v) that 95 per cent of Victoria’s electricity is from ageing, low efficiency, brown coal-fired generators, (vi) that $3.1 billion could fund rebates for approximately 2 million household water tanks that could provide 80 billion litres of water for cistern, laundry and garden use, and (vii) that coal-fired power generation in Victoria uses approximately 400 billion litres of water a year;

(b) urges the Victorian State Government to develop desalination only if necessary after:

(i) stringent standards are implemented for water appliances, (ii) substantial quantities of potable water have been displaced by stormwater or other harvested water, (iii) water reticulation infrastructure leaks have been fixed, (iv) water intensive industry and commercial operations are water efficient, (v) all Victorians have low flow shower heads, dual flush cisterns and grey water systems, and (vi) there is widespread application of water sensitive urban design; and

(c) encourages the Victorian State Government to ensure that any desalination still required, uses only renewable-powered technology.

References

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

28th Feb 2007, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Renewable Energy - Introduce effective policies

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Lyn Allison, which means that it was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate:

(a) notes the recent polling conducted by the Australian Research Group on community attitudes to climate change solutions which found that:

(i) Australians want to embrace new, clean renewable energy technologies to deal with the challenge of climate change,

(ii) Australians support a future based on new renewable energy industries rather than a continuing reliance on coal or a move to nuclear power, and

(iii) the renewable options of more solar panels (91 per cent support) and more wind turbines (82 per cent support) were favoured alongside the proposal of reducing overall energy consumption (78 per cent support); and

(b) calls on the Government to introduce effective policies that will result in significant clean energy investment and greenhouse abatement through support for:

(i) the renewable energy market, by extending and expanding the existing Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, a renewable energy trading ‘green’ certificate scheme,

(ii) the increased deployment of solar power through dual market of continuing the photovoltaic rebate scheme and introducing a feed-in-tariff,

(iii) energy efficiency markets, by introducing a national energy efficiency target and an energy efficiency trading ‘white’ certificate scheme, and

(iv) a transition to clean energy, by introducing a carbon emissions target and carbon emissions trading ‘black’ certificate scheme.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

7th Feb 2007, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Wind Energy - Increase Mandatory Renewable Energy Target

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Democrats Senator Lyn Allison. This means that the motion was unsuccessful. The motion was:

That the Senate: (a) notes that: (i) the World Wind Association has reported that the global installed capacity of wind energy at the end of December 2006 was 73 904 MW, (ii) based on the accelerated wind development in 2006, the World Wind Energy Association has increased its prediction for 2010 and now expects 160 000 MW to be installed by the end of 2010, (iii) the wind industry worldwide between 1997 and 2006 experienced a tenfold increase in installed capacity worldwide, (iv) the currently installed wind power capacity generates more than 1 per cent of global electricity consumption, (v) Germany has the highest proportion of installed capacity, where 5 per cent of electricity consumption is from wind, while Denmark’s is as high as 20 per cent,(Read more about the wind power in Germany here and wind power in Denmark here. ) and (vi) this compares to wind energy in Australia in 2006 representing only 0.5 per cent of Australia’s electricity consumption;(Read more about wind power in Australia here.) and (b) calls on the Government to increase and extend the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target to support wind energy and other renewable technologies in order to meet with world minimum practice and to strive to world best practice.

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

28th Nov 2006, 4:04 PM – Senate Motions - Renewable Energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Lyn Allison.

This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) in 2000, Germany introduced a solar scheme requiring electricity companies to buy back electricity generated from household panels connected to the grid at premium price rather than at the normal wholesale electricity rate,

(ii) the German scheme has meant approximately 400 000 households have now installed solar panels,

(iii) the German scheme has lead to a boom in the photovoltaic (PV) industry with revenues expected to be $25 billion in 2006, increasing to $100 billion by 2010,

(iv) Germany’s success with the scheme has led to Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Canada introducing almost identical schemes,

(v) in 2004, Germany passed a new law that guaranteed people who built solar parks a minimum price for each kilowatt of electricity that was two to three times the market price, for example, a German pig farmer struggling with drought took advantage of the scheme and covered his 200 acre farm with 10 050 solar panels, which at full capacity could supply power to all 7 000 residents of the local village resulting in the farmer making more than $600 000 a year from the sale of this electricity, and

(vi) California has developed the ‘ Million Solar Roofs’ plan that will provide 3 000 megawatts of additional solar generation by 2018 using a combination of regulatory and market mechanisms;

(b) notes that an Australia-wide feed-in tariff could increase the number of PV units in Australia from 10 000 to 150 000 by 2010; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to work with state governments to introduce a solar scheme similar to that in Germany.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

8th Aug 2006, 4:58 PM – Senate Matters of Urgency - Wind Farms - Bald Hills wind farm

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor Senator Kim Carr. This means that the motion was unsuccessful.

The motion was:

"That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:(Read more about what a 'matter of urgency' is here. ) The failure of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage (Senator Ian Campbell) to follow due process in assessing the environmental impact of the Bald Hills wind farm in Victoria, thereby undermining the legitimacy of national environmental approval processes."(Read more about Senator Campbell's controversial decision on ABC News here and on The World Today here.)

References

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

9th Feb 2006, 9:40 AM – Senate Motions - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - Renewable energy

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the announcement by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) that it will redirect its energy research work away from renewable energy towards ‘cleaning up’ coal, a priority of the Australian Government,

(ii) a breakthrough in solar energy technology, developed by the CSIRO and a private company, with a turbine that has the potential to replace coal-fired power stations in 20 years, and

(iii) that the CSIRO has had to look offshore for investment funding to advance its work on the solar turbine technology; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to re-prioritise its policy and funding objectives to provide more support for renewable energy so that Australian breakthrough research is not forced offshore for further development and commercialisation.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

How "voted very strongly against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 2 0 100
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 2 134

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 2 / 134 = 1.5%.

And then